Crohn's attacking my KNEES? help!!!

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 10/21/2007 9:34 PM (GMT -7)   
so my doc and I think that my Crohn's finally went into remission this past summer (keeping my fingers crossed!).  but then in september, out of the blue, i woke up one morning and both my knees were very very sore and achy for no reason and the right one was very swollen with fluid in it.  I hadn't done any physical activity whatsoever so i was i quite freaked out.  my GI doc told me to go see a rheumatologist who had me get blood work done to see if i had ANY other auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritist, lupus, etc.  the results came back negative for rheumatoid and ANA postive for Crohn's. >>>BUT HERE is what my rheumatologist told me:  he said that Crohn's can attack the major joints (knees, hips, etc.) and cause major inflammation, achiness, etc.  he's seen numerous Crohn's patients with this problem and he's seen them a lot worse.  anyways, has anyone else has their Crohn's attack their knee's or their hips to the point where it cause major swelling, inflammation, pain, etc.??  HELP!! 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3932
   Posted 10/22/2007 7:17 AM (GMT -7)   
This is why I'm now seeing a pain specialist. Heck yes! Its gotten so bad the pain has been crippling at times.
You don't hang around too often, maybe? There are hundreds of threads about this issue on the board. Its the number 1 complaint outside of intestinal problems with our DD..


Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 10/22/2007 7:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Yup it can happen. It's extraintestinal issues we can get.
I've had it last for a few days in my knees and I could barely walk.
I thought it was the pred cause I started taking it and a week later I had it, but it wasn't apprently.
It went away after a few days, go figure.

What meds are you on right now btw?
DX with CD May 2006 @ age 22
Tried Pentasa and Entocort, worked for a yr and a bit
Now on prednisone 35mg and having some side effects, "..time goes by so slowly..."
"We're always here for you if you need to talk!"

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 494
   Posted 10/22/2007 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
i have the same problem. i dont get much fluid build up but the pain can be excrutiating. im on a pain patch for now to control it otherwise i can barely walk. mine is worse in the large joints and my back. i couldnt even stand up straight before i was on the patch.

Crohn's Disease Diagnosed 12/24/03 (Thats Right, Merry Christmas to me!)
Probable MS
Im 26 years old, and am currently only taking remicade, protonix and evil prednisone for my CD. am on quite the cocktail for my BP however: Geodon, Lamictal, Celexa, Buspar and Klonopin.
Im also on lipitor for high cholesterol caused by a prior BP med. im on fentanyl patches for pain also, and i take some meds prn for my allergies, asthma, and migrianes.
"We are all worms but I do believe i am a Gloworm"
^always makes me smile^

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 10/22/2007 7:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh yes,my knees used to be horrible,occasionally they still flare,but since Iv'e been on Imuran,the joints are pretty good,I also started taking OTC Glucasamine/'Chlorasomething,that helps alot,just check with the GI first.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 10/22/2007 8:14 AM (GMT -7)   
When I had my first flare I had severe joint problems. I had one knee drained from excess fluid. My hands and feet were both swollen. By the time I was officially diagnosed both my knees had swelled up. I was on celebrex three daily to keep the joint issues in check until I started treatment for the crohns.
The sad thing it took two doctors and almost six months before the rheum. got me an appointment with the Gastro and I was finally diagnosed with crohns.

Luckily I haven't had any more joint issues with my other flares.
Diagnosed With Crohn's Dec 2002. Went into remission till May 2005. Major Flare On New Years
Currently On Remicade, Imuran 100mg, Pentasa 500mg x 6, OMX 12 Probiotics, Bee Propolis

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 222
   Posted 10/22/2007 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   

I too have joint pain. Sometimes it is really bad. It hits me in the knees, hips and back, and when I first flare my ankles hurt so bad I couldn't stand (my husband was lifting me from the bed to the bed-side commode.... really fun. I haven't been to a rhemy yet, but I have found that tylenol arthritis helps.


Living with Crohns for 1 year. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful little girls.
One blessing that came with my Crohns: I thank God for each day that I can get out of bed and take care of my girls and my home.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 10/22/2007 1:01 PM (GMT -7)   
My shoulders are sore quite often, also my lower back. My GI once told me you can get crohn's in the lower back. I find massage therapy helps.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 10/22/2007 2:04 PM (GMT -7)   

Both CD and rheum. arthritis have been known to have a fungal etiology. That's why you usually see people with more than one symptom/illness. They have a fungal condition. It manifests itself in different ways, in different people. Fungus has also been implicated in high cholesterol, asthma, UC, psoriasis, allergies, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, diabetes...... Have you ever experimented with an antifungal diet/program to see if you noticed an improvement? Doesn't hurt to try it. No special drugs or potions. Just good ol' natural, unprocessed foods. Just a thought...........


gemini kiwi
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1136
   Posted 10/22/2007 4:44 PM (GMT -7)   
The moment I eat anything with sugar you can guarantee the following morning without fail I'm seized up, left knee, and wrist and hand joints.
I follow a natural organic diet and do my best to omit refined stuff. Its tough at times, but I'm always reminded of the shear agony I suffer when I'm tempted.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 10/22/2007 6:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Mostly chronic lower back (slipping disk) & shoulder pain here. Already had an adhesion of the joint in my left shoulder that cost me 6 months of PT to break lose. Various clicking, popping and catching of the elbows,hips and knees wandering sharp pain in other joints. Heat, hot bath/dead sea salt soaks, exercise & percocet is my current regimine. Can hardly wait to see what long term predinsone maintenance does to me! Mininmal bone loss per my last bone scan...probably about due for another one though.

Know of a local CDer that is about 3 years my senior that had a dx in his early 20's and didn't have access to a lot of the drugs we do now...he has arthritis so bad in his neck, their are days he can't turn his head from side to side.
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Predinsone, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium. Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Acne, Fatigue, Joint Pain, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, fibroid cysts, peri-menopausal.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 10/22/2007 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I had pain in my joints for years before I was diagnosed with Crohn's. Xrays showed no signs of arthritis, though, so my doctor's diagnosis was fibromyalgia. I've been on azathioprine (6MP) for almost 4 months now but haven't noticed any change in the pain level. Mostly, my pain is in my hips, knees and fingers. (My daughter, who had UC until she had her colon removed 3 years ago, also experienced the arthritic-like pain. She still has it.)


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 10/22/2007 7:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had CD for over 11 years, and not until this September had joint pain. My knees ache, my fingers are sore, and body had a heavy feeling when i lay down. So my GI sent me to the Rum. as well He said maybe FIBRO. maybe the excess weight on me at this time. So i started on weight watchers to loose 50 lbs. So - great changes in my diet, more walking and bike, and some weights. I find it so very hard to exersize when i feel so yuckie!
I also made some other changes, i stopped using equal as my sweetner through out the day. Lots of vitamins- and added like lynnRN - costo condriten--
All i can think of is that if this gets worse, i cant go to work! But i guess with this disease it can hit anywhere at any time.
But i do not notice any swelling- but it feels like everything should be! :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 2079
   Posted 10/23/2007 8:26 AM (GMT -7)   
In the past four years, I've complained more about arthritis than anything else. Back, shoulders, knees, wrists, and jaws. I've had frozen shoulders several times, and it's back this fall, but I've had two hard falls that tore my rotator cuffs so it's logical that they will be worse. I noticed that several have mentioned September as the onset of symptoms, and mine hits me worse at that time as well. Every weather front that moves through is excruciating for me.
48 yr. old. Ileocolitis.  CD since early teens, misdx'd until age 36.  Hemicolectomy-left side in 2001.  Disease returned in 2003. Arthritis, episcleritis, chronic pain due to surgeries (nerve damage, adhesions) and disease.  Recently dx'd scoliosis.  History of endometriosis.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7314
   Posted 10/23/2007 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
I have also been Dx with Spondyloarthropathy (SpA). This is a common form of autoimmune, inflammatory arthritis and is well known to be associated with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The process affecting the joints is very similar to that which causes our gut problems, but it is an entirely different entity. This is NOT Crohn's attacking the joints, but a separate complication.

Anyone suffering with joint or back pain should be evaluated by a Rheumatologist to investigate the possibility of Spondyloarthropathy (SpA). These include: Ankylosing Spondylitis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Reactive Arthritis, Enteropathic Arthritis, Juvenile Spondyloarthropathy and Undifferentiated Spondyloarthropathy.

At one time, these types of arthritis were commonly believed to affect mostly men and so the Dx of women is still often delayed by many years. It's important to find a Rheumy who is knowledgable about SpA and can make the Dx and begin treatment. The good news for us is that often, the treatment for SpA is the same, or very similar, to those used for Crohn's. For instance, I'm using Humira every week and taking a low daily dose of pred, but these meds are prescribed by my Rheumy for my joints. They've also helped put my gut in order so that I'm just about in remission.

For more info about Spondyloarthropathy/Spondylitis,
Keah a.k.a. Wormy
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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 10/23/2007 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, my knees and hips used to hurt so bad I would cry just walking. I used to get down in the floor to play with my sons and get stuck. I'm so young but I feel so old! Good luck
DX: Crohns in March 2007
Meds: Remicade

Granny Gert
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/24/2007 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
WOW!  I couldn't believe what I was reading -- in fact, I had my husband read it and he said "when did you write this."     I too have been diagnosed with Crohn's - a couple of years ago but my GI doc put me on a "wonder drug" Pentasa and I have been totally under control (at least I thought so) and then around August I started getting a strange aching in my index finger.  It went away, came back, etc., then it started in the other hand, the thumbs, fingers, and boy oh boy, my knees - Especially my right knee.   I call it a "rotating" pain because I never know where it is going to be.  I can be feeling totally fine one minute and then an hour later I can't walk because my knee hurts so bad; or I can't move my fingers, write my name, etc., and then just as mysteriously,  it will go away (usually after going to sleep and waking up in the morning.)  
I too am scheduled to see a rheumatologist and can't get in to see one near my home until the end of February, so I am going to drive about 2-1/2 hours away to see one the end of November.    I would be most interested too in finding out what this is.   Thank you for making me feel there is really something going on -- if there are two of us, there must be more, and maybe there is a name to this symptomatology -- and hopefully a cure! 

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2015
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/26/2015 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed 2 years ago and am at the hospital awaiting surgery. I was fortunate I guess for such a late diagnosis (I was 44), but the time has caught up with me. What I am dealing with now, that just started, is excruciating knee pain. I was never told this would happen!!!! I have been on heavy duty steroids for the past 5 months as I have run out of other meds to control the Crohns. I woke up to this pain 3 nights ago and it is brutal. I thought is was due to the rapid weaning off the the steroids in prep for surgery, but after reading all this I am guessing not. I am concerned that not one of the GI doctors have indicated it may be a Crohns issue, as I am at one of the best hospitals in the world, Brigham and Women's ( a perc of living near Boston). The dilaudid works for a few minutes and when they add tylenol to it I get about 1 hour of relief. Any suggestions for better medication??



Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 8384
   Posted 4/26/2015 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   
It's hard to tell when you've been on steroids for a long time what is really going on. I don't think you'll know for a while until you've been steroid free for a few weeks.

You should be able to use ice on your knee to give you some relief.

Talk to your DR about sulfasalazine, it's a medication many are using now to treat joint pain due to inflammatory bowel disease.
52 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Currently taking Pentasa (3g/day) generic Colazal (9 6 pills/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), psyllium (2 tsp daily), rectal meds as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11. Remission from Aug. '11 until November '14.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2015
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/26/2015 2:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so very much for your quick response @kazbern!!!! :)

The next doctor that walks into my room is going to get ambushed!! I am having the colon removed a week from tomorrow, it was supposed to come out this past Monday but I acquired c-diff on this hospital stay (the gift that keeps on giving) soooooo.

I am afraid to ask "Anything else?" anymore as I seem to get an answer and I tend not to like it.

Diagnosed 4/2013. Have taken Humira, Azathioprine, Cymzia, Entyvio and Prednisone.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1680
   Posted 4/26/2015 3:38 PM (GMT -7)   
See an orthopedic to rule out avascular necrosis. I had it in both knees from prednisone and it is back again. I just had my third surgery Friday and need another. Good luck!
Dx:Ulcerative Colitis March 2008
Dx: Crohns May 2008
Avascular necrosis bilateral knees from Prednisone. Surgery on left knee Oct 2011, Right knee April 2013. 8 blood transfusions, SVT, Anxiety due to past reactions. C-diff, pancreatitis and metabolic acidosis from medication.Currently on Lialda, Ambien, xanax(prn) D3, probiotic, Rowasa, Cimzia Azathioprine, Vancomycin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 2079
   Posted 4/27/2015 6:05 AM (GMT -7)   
That's an excellent point pmedic. Prednisone is very tough on the body when you've had to be on it for extended time and when you have to come off it quickly. Bobbie, I have enteropathic arthritis, which my GI didn't know much about and frankly didn't seem to care either, but your extreme pain sounds more like either what pmedic mentioned or that the prednisone drop allowed the arthritis to attack full force. I've gone on sulfasalazine for mine, but it seems to have lost its edge lately. I hope your surgery goes well. If it's enteropathic arthritis, it may calm down after surgery. I know mine did anyway.
55 yr. old--CD over 43 yr. Hemi-colectomy '01; spinal cord injury '01; fistulae since '97; enteropathic arthritis, chronic pain, muscle spasms, scoliosis, rotator cuff injuries

Sometimes I have a wicked sense of humor, other times I have no humor at all, but most of the time I just have no sense.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 4/27/2015 4:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Everyday I wake up with a new pain or ache. Just came back from foot dr. cause pain in my feet. Woke up with pain in my neck this morning. Yesterday was my knees, Saturday I woke and sad wow nothing hurts. Before that was lower back pain........
Type 2 since 2007, and diagnosed with Crohns 2013 on Remicade but built up antibodies. Started humira 12/19/14. Failed Humira. Started Entyvio 4/14/15. Crossing fingers............

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/28/2015 4:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I woke up this morning with my left knee swollen the size of a cantelope!! I've been in remition for 5 year now!! But recently my life as been turned upside down with my father been dx with liver cancer and my anxiety levels are thru the roof! I'm afraid this is causing my knees to act up.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/14/2015 2:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Unfortunately my right knee does the same thing. I wake up from sleep or nap (No Trauma to joint ) and my Right knee is swollen to the size of a grape fruit. This occurs about once or twice a year. Generally after the first day of Prednizone it's back to normal. Like magic. I'm 58 Years of age and have had Crohnes since 7th grade. Back then it wasn't even diagnosed as crohnes. But, due to my young age I was in a few medical journals. Good luck with the knee and if your doc hasn't tried Prednisone , for the knee, you may mention it to him. Basically, about 6 hours after my first dose, my knee is completely back to normal. Hope this helps.
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