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4 comments
  1. Gwen Reynolds

    I a to the point that my knees are bone against bone, all else is gone and behcause I’m mostly sedate because of the new and back pain, I’ve put on a whole lot of weight and my orthopedic surgeon says I’m not a candidate for surgery, I don’t want to live with this pain for the rest of my life, I’m about to turn 71. Do you have any suggestions?
    Thank you
    Good Bless
    Ola And Gwennita Reynolds
    1668 Calle Lindero
    Lompoc, CA 93436

    In case you want to mail me anything. I

    1. Barbara

      Gwen,
      I’m sorry you’re struggling so with this knee pain. I don’t know you, but my assumption is that you’re not a candidate for total knee replacement because of your weight. This is a very common problem. As a society, we are getting bigger and bigger. The incidence of complications (like infection), and poor outcome is higher in patients who are very overweight. You might also have medical problems which make it difficult to consider elective operations like total joint replacements. “Elective” means that you don’t have to have the operation. It’s not a matter of life or death. Losing large amounts of weight is probably one of the greatest challenges a person can undertake, but undertake it you must. You must lose enough weight so that your BMI is less than 40, or lose the amount of weight your doctor has recommended you lose. I’m not saying this is easy, and it might be impossible for you. You cannot increase your activity level because your knees won’t take it. So you must do it by dieting. This is so hard. Seek out the attention of a physician who specializes in weight loss.

      Now if you have tried to lose weight unsuccessfully, then the only other alternatives for you are things like taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (if medically, you are able to do that), taking cortisone injections or hyaluronic acid injections (things like Synvisc and Hyalgan). These are the gel injections you have probably heard of on the radio. They work very well in many of my patients. There are also PRP and stem cell injections. Insurance doesn’t cover PRP and stem cell injections, and they can be very expensive. Many patients cannot afford them. This is about all you can do, other than to get access to a motorized scooter or wheelchair. This is never a good thing, and certainly not a first line of treatment.

      You must also modify any activity which is causing pain. Don’t get involved in any aggressive exercise programs which involve squats, deep knee bends and lunges. Do not do high impact exercise. And don’t climb stairs unnecessarily. I know, I know. That seems counter-intuitive. You need to exercise, right? Right, but the benefits of stair climbing in a person who already has advanced arthritis, do not outweigh the liabilities. You can hurt you knees on the stairs.

      I hope this helps!

  2. Peggy Corder

    I am 67 yrs old. Recently I experienced severe knee pain after stating an extended period of time at a quilt retreat, even though I made certain I moved a lot and walked the parking lot in the mornings. I saw my chiropractor on returning home and it was decided I sat in a rolling office chair that was too high and pressed on nerves in my right upper thigh, exacerbating the sciatic problem of the past. Fast forward to today after seeing my PCP and she referred me to a spine pain management doc. He sent me for an MRI (which I did and it was a sitting up). It showed fact joint disease on the left side. Previous X-rays showed facet joint disease on right side. My pain is all on right side. A couple of weeks ago, he did epidural steroid injection on my right side. The result from that was immediate relief with absolutely no pain for the day following injection. However, since then, I have days of right knee pain, some days more than others. I had a couple of days where I had severe “drawing, cramp like feeling in right upper calf. I made sure I kept moving and stretched a lot that day. It is better now but still sense pain in my right knee I rarely have back pain. Mostly, pain in sciatic area of right buttocks. I have been very conscious of how I sit after reading your post SLAM. I realize you cannot diagnose my problems but did wonder if you might have any suggestions. The crazy thing is that if my husband massages my right buttock and upper thigh, I have extreme pain on the right hip and can feel it all the way down my leg and into my upper right shoulder. I have him do this as often as I can stand it, not daily but at least a few times each week. Since doing this I have seen increased relief of pain. Thank you if you have any suggestions of what I might try.

    1. Barbara

      Peggy,
      I’m sorry, but I really can’t make suggestions regarding a relatively complicated situation. Your history is very complex. There could be more than one issue going on simultaneously. I would suggest you continue to follow the recommendations of your physicians. Only they can evaluate your symptoms and determine which ones respond to which treatments, and thereby determine causation and further treatment modalities. Generally speaking, pain that radiates from the buttock, down the leg, is related to the back.

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