Discussions By Condition: Muscle conditions

Please help me to identify knee problem...

Posted In: Muscle conditions 2 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • June 26, 2007
  • 04:51 AM


I am 50 and began having leg pains (both legs) a couple of years ago. I went to one doctor who told me after results from bloodwork came back that she felt I had arthritis but the pain I was experiencing was not consistent with arthritis. Offered only pain meds as relief.

The second doctor told me (after numerous visits, bloodwork, x-rays & an MRI) that I had two torn meniscus and I should go for physical therapy. I thought my symptoms were consistent with rheumatoid arthritis but he said the bloodwork came back negative for it.

The third most recent doctor told me (after x-ray) that I have advanced arthritis in both knees and showing me the x-rays, said that both knees are basically bone-against-bone with no cartilidge left. He withdrew over 50 cc's of fluid from one knee and gave me a cortisone shot. Brief relief. Suggested physical therapy but feels double knee replacement is inevitable.

I have no history of injuries to either knee. Both knees are affected but usually the pain is more intense in my right. Sometimes it switches to my left being worse but lately it has been my right.
These are my symtoms:

- Swelling in both knees
- Patch of redness (hot to the touch) on knee
- Pain radiating up and down entire leg. Concentrated lately on my upper foot and large toe (sometimes numb & tingling)
- Stiffness, almost feeling like my leg is "locking" by the end of the day
- Clicking sound when I go up stairs
- Lately, sharp pangs of pain in kneecap area and foot

Is anyone familiar with these symtoms? Anyone been diagnosed with a particular form of arthritis based on these or similar?

Thanks so much!

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2 Replies:

  • Three basic types of arthritis may affect the knee joint.1. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of knee arthritis. OA is usually a slowly progressive degenerative disease in which the joint cartilage gradually wears away. It most often affects middle-aged and older people.2. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory type of arthritis that can destroy the joint cartilage. RA can occur at any age. RA generally affects both knees.3. Post-traumatic arthritis can develop after an injury to the knee. This type of arthritis is similar to osteoarthritis and may develop years after a fracture, ligament injury or meniscus tear.Symptoms of arthritisGenerally, the pain associated with arthritis develops gradually, although sudden onset is also possible. The joint may become stiff and swollen, making it difficult to bend or straighten the knee. Pain and swelling are worse in the morning or after a period of inactivity. Pain may also increase after activities such as walking, stair climbing or kneeling. The pain may often cause a feeling of weakness in the knee, resulting in a "locking" or "buckling." Many people report that changes in the weather also affect the degree of pain from arthritis.Making the diagnosisYour doctor will perform a physical examination that focuses on your walk, the range of motion in the limb, and joint swelling or tenderness. X-rays typically show a loss of joint space in the affected knee. Blood and other special imaging tests such as an MRI may be needed to diagnose RA.Treatment optionsIn its early stages, arthritis of the knee is treated with conservative, nonsurgical measures. * Lifestyle modifications can include losing weight, switching from running or jumping exercises to swimming or cycling, and minimizing activities such as climbing stairs that aggravate the condition. * Exercises can help increase range of motion and flexibility as well as help strengthen the muscles in the leg. * Using supportive devices such as a cane, wearing energy-absorbing shoes or inserts, or wearing a brace or knee sleeve can be helpful. * Other measures may include applications of heat or ice, water exercises, liniments or elastic bandages.Several types of drugs can be used in treating arthritis of the knee. Because every patient is different, and because not all people respond the same to medications, your orthopaedic surgeon will develop a program for your specific condition. * Anti-inflammatory medications can include aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help reduce swelling in the joint. * Glucosamine and chondroitin (kon-dro'-i-tin) sulfate are oral supplements may relieve the pain of osteoarthritis. * Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory agents that can be injected into the joint. * Hyaluronate (hi-a-lou'-ron-ate) therapy consists of a series of injections designed to change the character of the joint fluid. * Special medical treatments for RA include gold salt injections and other disease-modifying drugs.Surgical TreatmentIf your arthritis does not respond to these nonoperative treatments, you may need to have surgery. * Arthroscopic surgery uses fiber optic technology to enable the surgeon to see inside the joint and clean it of debris or repair torn cartilage. * An osteotomy cuts the shinbone (tibia) or the thighbone (femur) to improve the alignment of the knee joint. * A total or partial knee arthroplasty replaces the severely damaged knee joint cartilage with metal and plastic. * Cartilage grafting is possible for some knees with limited or contained cartilage loss from trauma or arthritis
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • In addition, I would like to add that acupuncture has been shown to be very helpful for knee pain, especially osteoarthritis of the knee. Please consider acupuncture as a viable treatment option. I would recommend this over PT personally, as I have seen the benefits of acupuncture in my patients. Please just try this and use surgery as a very last resort. www.acufinder.com for info and to find a certified practitioner near you. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies Flag this Response
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