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Message Board > Miscellaneous > Osteoarthritis in my knees ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Osteoarthritis in my knees
its official
KathySews
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KathySews  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/9/12 6:43 PM

Today I finally went to a specialist to talk about the pain in my knees. I am in that vicious cycle of getting more sedate because it hurts to move, related weight gain, etc. Xrays show that I have "very bad" osteoarthritis and I got my first injections of corticosteroids.

I cannot believe the difference in the way I felt walking into the office and out - although I know that was from the anesthetic included in the injection.

I am also going to start physical therapy. I miss being able to just jump up and walk around, go up and down stairs, etc.

A brief search shows I have a lot to learn. Any advice, experience, suggestions?

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to KathySews


Date: 3/9/12 7:37 PM

Patience
Perserverence
Pool


-- Edited on 3/10/12 2:46 PM --

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

Vonnevo
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Vonnevo  Friend of PR
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In reply to KathySews


Date: 3/9/12 7:59 PM

Kathy, I have severe OA in my left knee. I wondered what the horrific pain was some 5 years ago...to the extent that walking and even sitting at my sewing machine was painful. A trip to an Ortho specialist and an MRI confirmed the diagnosis.
I had started physio exercises before the actual diagnosis as my physio suspected arthritis.

The physio explained that the exercises I was given are designed to strengthen the muscles from the hip down so that the knee joints are not taking as much strain. They are easy and I was given sets to do at home..... morning and evening. no special equipment was needed except ankle weights eventually, but these can be improvised too. They are not difficult, but regularity is the key.
Gradually the severe knee pain diminished and I could walk and sit without too much discomfort.
I was always one for walking up and down the stairs instead of taking elevators and the physio told me to avoid stairs. Also showed me how to walk up them if needed to though.

After a month of doing the exercises, I noticed significant improvement and can now enjoy my 5+miles a day, walks...and continue to do the exercises.
I hope you find some improvement soon


-- Edited on 3/9/12 8:03 PM --

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Vonne šOš Brisbane Australia
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Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever.
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

Mandolin82
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Mandolin82  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/9/12 8:09 PM

I first felt my bad knees in 1999. It came on suddenly. After multiple surgeries, physical therapy, shots, braces, and handi-cap passes I ended up having two knee replacements about 8 years later. At the end I could barely manage a short grocery trip, and then would be in pain for a few days.

I'm not saying that is where you are headed, just that that is where I ended up. My mother has two knee replacements, and my sister has started having real problems. I'm heavy, but they haven't been, so there is something genetic going on in my family.

BTW, my knee replacements have changed my live. Now I happily park far from the store.

I'm a big fan of physical therapy, but listen to your body. After one of my surgeries my physical therapist had me doing things even though I expressed concern about how it felt. He said it was fine and so I was a good patient and followed his instructions. Finally, months later when things kept getting worse the doctor gave me another MRI and things had worsened measurably in just those few months.

And definitely find an orthopedist that you fit with. One of the ones I went to was very demeaning. After the first visit I did not go back to him. The one I ended up with was excellent.

After years of shuffling, due to my knees, I'm finally getting muscle tone back in my legs and flexibility back in my body. Better than anything else, even physical therapy, has been working with a top notch gyrotonics trainer. It is expensive, but WONDERFUL. It would probably work for arthritic knees too, so you might consider it. Gyrotonic

Susan

AdaH
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In reply to KathySews


Date: 3/10/12 1:11 AM

I know it isn't the greatest of news but at least now you know what the problem is and can do something about it.
Having a doctor validate your pain by giving you a diagnois is the first big hurdle.
So glad you had some relief from the pain.

------
Ada

AminaHijabi
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Date: 3/10/12 2:41 AM

Swim. Lap swim, not water aerobics. You need to lose weight and that's the only exercise you can do that has zero impact on knees. Less weight = less force on the knees. If you feel she about your body you can buy chlorine resistant pants from splashgear.com or swim tights from coolibar. You can get very fit and lose weight even if you only use your arms in th water. Knee pain sucks. Those cortisone injections will wear off, but utilize your physical therapy and lose weight. Knee replacement isn't the be all and end all for everyone, and they wear out.

JeannieR
JeannieR  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/10/12 3:26 AM

Mandolin82,

I agree with what you say, to listen to yourself.

My MIL fell at work, (in her 80's) had to use a walker after that.

Fell at home, broke her hip. Hip replacement. Physical therepy.

They made her do exercises using weights until her new hip dislocated. She was trying to be a "good" patient.

Now she is in a wheelchair, never to walk again.

Jeannie

Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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In reply to KathySews


Date: 3/10/12 6:56 AM

Quote: KathySews
Today I finally went to a specialist to talk about the pain in my knees.

I am also going to start physical therapy.

Any advice, experience, suggestions?



I've had osteoarthritis in my knees for decades, but it got really bad and the diagnosis was official approx. six or seven years ago, along with more thrilling diagnosis of Patella Femoral Syndrome, which is my more primary problem. Oh joy. (not!) Lucky you that the cortisone shot worked. That stuff has never helped me, ever. Argh.

Physical Therapy is crucial. I have to do the exercises for the rest of my life. It's "management" of the issue. I use two machines at the gym, and it takes ten minutes. The drive over takes more time. Those two machines are life savers for my knees, especially the Leg Press ... the one that looks like a chair, where you sit upright, is the preferred type. My Orthopedic guy told me the other type is padding his retirement account, and that I should avoid it.

Don't gain weight. That puts more stress on troubled knees and causes more problems. If you need to lose weight, this is a good reason to do it. My knees and low back problems motivate me to watch my weight.

Do not "lock" your knees when standing, if you have that bad habit. I did it for decades and had to train myself to stop it.

It will also help if you can make yourself wear good shoes with excellent arch support, at the least until you are over the worst of this and the pain is gone. You would be surprised how our feet can affect other orthopedic problems. Whenever I get into trouble, I wear my running shoes w/orthotics as my everyday footwear, until the storm passes.
KathySews
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KathySews  Friend of PR
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Going to PR Weekend Austin!
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Date: 3/10/12 7:51 AM

wow everyone - great advice, as I knew I could get support here.

My plan is to call my insurance people to fully understand the P/T because, yes, my dr appt was on a Friday. I do like swimming and will check out local options for that

ETA: I am looking forward to talking with a p/t because I suspect this is effecting my hips also, probably pain avoidance is making that alignment off.

Pain is an odd thing to measure. I have a very high tolerance and need to admit to myself that if I think something hurts - I need to make sure the doctor understands what I mean.

One benefit of unemployment is that I have time to devote to physical therapy
-- Edited on 3/10/12 7:55 AM --

happytobehere
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Date: 3/10/12 9:04 AM

I have OA in my first metatarsal (big toe). It doesn't sound like a big deal but the pain is excruciating sometimes. I have had to give up running for walking and sometimes that hurts. Doctor says exercise is important and he has suggested swimming and cycling. Don't think cycling would be good for your knees, but hope swimming helps you.

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