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Arthritis in the Knee Question



  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    I had back pain for years. Thought it might be my mattress so I got a 'numbers bed.' Immediate relief but over the years the pain progressed. Finally got so bad I saw a doctor. He suggested epidurals, mostly because I couldn't take anti-inflammatory medicines like Advil, ibuprofen, etc.

    The epidurals helped but gradually wore off. After the fourth one I went to an orthopedic surgeon and he immediately diagnosed the problem as a genetic issue, not a muscle issue. He suggested surgery, did it and now I'm pain free with no restrictions, at least in my back. My knees are another story...

    Spring "Sleep Number 65" Chicken
  • Cpt'n CookCpt'n Cook Posts: 1,917
    Seems like everyone on the forum has arthritis problems, could it be the Egg?

    Wish I could help Leroy. I can relate to your problem though, I am putting off hip replacement for as long as I can. I have neuro-muscular problems with both legs and feet, which causes balance problems and am worried about the rehab. Hip pain seems to come and go for me. People keep asked me "are you limping?" It gets a bit irritating after a while.

    My old hiking stick is now a cane :(

    Hang in there Dude
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,993
    ive gone the whole route, sports medicine, water bed, hard bed, soft bed, wood floor,none of that ever worked, i get the sciatica leg pains either side, even both at times, puts me in cruches for a few days then continual pain for months, then one day its gone. stupid things, a sneeze, tie a shoe, reach for a piece of paper, long spikes on the vertibrea catch the nerve then a mucle keeps it locked out of place. doctor says live with it as the surgery might bring other problems. ive got a whole ritual i go thru for sneezing, stand up straight, look straight ahead, toes pointed straight ahead, then sneeze :blink: better than sneezing, take two steps, then hit the floor :laugh: people that dont go thru this dont understand, give you all sorts of advice, new bed, excersize, streches. been happening to me when i was 80 pounds skinny running track and still the same when i was up to 230 and out of shape. hurt maybe 11 months of last year but not as bad as its been in the past. the glucosamine and chondroitin helps alot espescially since the back pain eventually causes pain in the knees and hips from walking like i have a pickle jammed up my ..... :whistle:
  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    Not meaning to start a political bruhaha, but you "ole farts" shouldn't be putting of joint replacement surgery too much longer, or it may not become an option! :ohmy: :( (Note: I'm not far behind you guys ;) )

    Honestly, as an active participant in the health care field for >25 years, I have a little insight into this and I have no doubt that to save costs, the government bureaucracy will ramp up their denials of these very expensive procedures.

    The discussion could go on for days, as it is a very complex issue - much more complex than the average person can perceive, nor can most of the "talking heads" perceive - they ALL have their agendas (right or left) and twist, distort and manipulate their talking points.

    Enough - this is going to raise my BP again...... :ohmy: :angry:
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    Ha.... I've heard of 'Being in a pickle' but I can't say I've ever heard of a pickle 'Being in someone.' LOL

    Sounds like you've had a time of it. I'm sure there's probably more to your story than mentioned here. What with all the modern medicine we have in this country I wonder what third world countries have to offer their citizens who are in pain.

    The one thing that we don't have in common with the rest of the world is that we're a 'fat nation.' Along with that comes the junk food, easy lifestyle and misplaced priorities.

    I sweat like a pig (apologies to the pigs) with the least amount of effort, even on cool dry days. I attribute it to my meds because I never had that problem back when I was younger and in better shape.

    Oh yea, 'shape' has a lot to do with it too. Just yesterday I tried loading a 4 X 8 sheet of 3/4" plywood onto a cart and needed help. I never needed help for such a light load in the past. I also notice that a 40# bag of cement now weighs as much as the 80# bag (or seems to). The list is growing of the things I can't do, and that really isses me off, until I realize that I'm fast approacing 70 years old and I'm in much better shape than lots of men my age. In fact, I'm probably in better shape than most teenagers today. They may be able to text-message at 100 WPM but can't get their fat butts off the sofa long enough to do something constructive.

    No, I have no right to complain about my health. It's my body and my responsibility to take care of it. All I'm doing is looking at my options.

    Spring "Gotta Go Cut That Plywood" Chicken
  • ASTegaCayASTegaCay Posts: 97
    It all depends on how much damage you have with your knees. Mine have hurt since HS Football, then being a lineman and Climbing poles, it got worse. I left the line work and went into sales(gained a few LBS) now my knees only hurt a little after I play a hour or two racquet ball. Starting to lose the weight.

    And Misippi Egger has a point.
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    Frankly, I can't blame the government on my health, such as it is. I've had 68+ years to do the right thing with my body but I ignored the government's advice and even warnings pretty much that entire time. Why should they now be obligated to fix me?

    That being said, like any American, I feel obligated to take advantage of the medical care that I paid (in advance) for. But like any 'responsible' American, I feel that I should only use as much of my medical benefits as I actually need.

    That's one reason I'm seeking alternatives.

    Spring "Former Taxpayer" Chicken
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,993
    having a good outlook on things is more important than all the little harrassments in life. one time they put me on a pain pill that was also a happy pill, i couldnt take it, theres a point where too happy will drive you crazy :laugh: just looking around at all the people around me makes me feel lucky that my problems are just back pains ;)
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    You are a classic example of why I really shouldn't complain. Sounds like I'm in darn good shape compared to you. All I've got is some annoying pain at this point.

    As for a walking stick, I don't need one yet. In fact, if I'm anywhere around a stick, I look to see how many possible BGE handles can be made from it (a habit I picked up when I was employed as an Apprentice Lawn Ranger).

    Spring "Hand Bone Is Connected To The Stick" Chicken
  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    As a conservative American, you are to be commended - there are SO many who feel "entitled" and want to take whatever and as much they can.

    Medicare serves a great purpose and should be used when needed, but constraint and personal responsibility are paramount.

    I see 2-3 people a week under age 65 who are on disability/Medicare and who have no demonstrable medical reason to not be able to do some kind of work (and I ask them why they are disabled). This is a huge drain on our economy and medical resources!

    Oops, I said enough, so I will shut-up (pressure is climbing). :huh:
  • they do all have their agendas. even the medical field.

    i have heard it said that one of the reasons that the procedures are so expensive is that those who have insurance don't care how much it costs, so it costs "that" much. and then the insurance companies compensate by increasing premiums. i'm not an expert, but i do know an aspirin ain't worth twenty bucks. you could tell me well that includes the overhead, etc. associated with delivering the aspirin, but we get billed for the nurse who delivers it, for the paper cup it came in, etc.

    so it really is 20 bucks for an aspirin in the end (he said, hyperbolically yet not too far from the truth).

    grandma used to die in the upstairs bedroom surrounded by her family. now we spend 250k keeping her alive for an extra couple months, and bill "the insurance company" who magically takes care of it all.

    i think everyone in this mix expects a bit too much, patients, doctors, and insurance companies.

    i don't mean to get political either, but pretending that "someone" (a group or a person) has nothing but the wrong answers implies that someone else has all the right answers. and that is not possible

    at the very least, if everything goes back to exactly square one and nothing is changed, there will have been a conversation about health care

    all i know is that i am, and my family is, perfectly healthy. and my health insurance premiums could buy me a waterfront vacation home.
  • Cpt'n CookCpt'n Cook Posts: 1,917
    I really can't complain either, my problems really didn't show up til I was in my 40s. CMT generally affects little kids and keeps getting worse.
  • DavekatzDavekatz Posts: 763
    Here's what I've had good luck with:

    [ol]Limit "white" carbs - I eat almost no bread, pasta, sugar, or potatoes. Excess carbs kick up your body's inflammatory response.

    No trans fats, no high fructose corn syrup, period. Try to only eat foods that have ingredients you can pronounce. It's amazing how much better you'll feel without that crap in your system.

    Eat plenty of natural fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts)and lots of fruits, veggies, and lean meat.

    Water aerobics is a great way to exercise without hurting anything.

    Get your vitamin D levels checked. I was low and that can cause added aches and pains.

    Try MegaRed krill oil - better than fish oil with similar effects.


    I was in some pretty awful shape, and these changes in diet have made a world of difference for me. I still have a ways to go, but I don't hurt anywhere near as much as I used to.

    Good luck,

    Food & Fire - The carnivorous ramblings of a gluten-free grill geek.
  • Misippi EggerMisippi Egger Posts: 5,095
    United Health Care had 3.5 BILLION in profits last year, in the face of declining covered lives. Not hard to see where a LOT of the money is going.

    As a physician, we are not getting paid substantially more. My Medicare reimbursement is more than 20% LESS than I was paid in 1992 and I cannot bill the patient for the difference. (That's not counting the 21% reduction that has been all over the news).

    Our Blue Cross reimbursement has gone up at about the inflation rate (NOT the medical rate, but the overall CPI).

    My insurance premiums went up over 50 % compared to 2009, so I know where you are coming from!
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    That's asking an awful lot to feel better. I think I'll just hurt for a while longer LOL.

    Both of us take Vitamin D along with a one-a-day total vitamin. I'm not sure it helps but apparently doesn't hurt much either.

    I think our big problem is lack of deliberate exercise. I'm not talking about mowing a lawn type exercise, but setting in motion a pattern of must-do exercises that focus on different parts of our body.

    Maybe if I can get over the current pain I can get into an exercise program. Once I start it then maybe begin to watch what I eat (and drink). Then maybe I won't have anything to complain about LOL.

    Glad your plan is working for you.

    Spring "On The Procrastinator Diet/Exercise Program" Chicken
  • My hubby takes it for his shoulder--it seems to give him relief. More conclusively to me, my 15 year old housecat was put on glucosamine by the vet--he gets it via a "sprinkle" supplement, plus a canned food with added glucosamine. I noticed an improvement in the cat's mobility (more jumping, running, climbing) within a week or two of his receiving the supplements.
  • Cpt'n CookCpt'n Cook Posts: 1,917
    Swimming is good and is pretty easy on the legs. Not great for losing weight but good for aerobic and muscle tone.
  • FlaMikeFlaMike Posts: 648
    I put in 43 years as a physical therapist, so here's my 2 cents worth. If you still have any cartilage left, the various drugs and/or heat vs ice, might help temporarily, but they won't make the arthritis go away. You still are going to have the inflammation of arthritis regardless. Whatever pills or diet that may work for me might not work for you. If you don't have any cartilage left, then you need a knee replacement to get rid of the pain, and restore some lost function. Your 300 lbs jams those bones together on each step, and puts even more pressure on your knee joints everytime you stand up or sit down, stairs are in another universe altogether. Sorry to rain on your parade, but don't want to sugar-coat the truth either. See an orthopedic surgeon who treats a lot of knee patients. Get his advice, then a second opinion, then prepare yourself for some surgery. They turn out a whole lot better than they did back in the 70's.
    Good luck.
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    I've heard good things about glucosamine for many years, but I've also heard an equal amount of negative statements.

    Another thing I'm learning is that not all glucosamine is created equal, nor is it effective 100% of the time for those who claim it's benefits. Then there are those who don't put enough of the stuff in each batch to even make a dent in someone's pain, assuming it did work in the proper amount. That's one reason I'm leary about even investing time and money in it.

    Finally, I'm seeing where the 'studies' are often slanted in their opinion. That's one of the main reasons I asked here because I know I will get the truth from my fellow Eggheads.

    Speaking of truth, I probably should face facts and lose the weight. Then exercise as if my good-life depended on it.

    Give my best wishes to your husband and your cat. Pain is not something for the timid.

    Spring "Wonder What Tarzan Did For Aches And Pains In His Old Age" Chicken
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817

    Bette Davis said "Getting old ain't for cissies"



    Caledon, ON


  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    I don't think I'm that bad off 'yet.' I just don't want to get that point without a plan of some kind. I guess I was hoping that someone would come along and say, "Eat a lot of BBQ, drink a lot of rum, don't break out in a sweat exercising, and don't let no one cut on me" but it appears that there a bit more to it than that.

    I was amazed that how some of the physical therapy exercises I did for various pains and injuries helped me to recover quickly. But my therapist took the time to explain just how each one worked and suddenly it made sense. I would have never thought a 4' long dowel would help me feel better but once I was shown how to use it and why, it all made sense. I promptly went to my local Lowe's store and made my own. It really helps. As do the 'rubber bands' used in stretching and 'ice packs' used in coming down from the exercise.

    No doubt about it, you therapy guys perform minor miracles every day.

    Enjoy your retirement. You earned it.

    Spring "Stretched, Bent and Twisted Just To Feel Better" Chicken
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    And she was right... Ain't for old pharts either...

    Spring "Pain Is What I Get For Living Long" Chicken
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Yesterday Clark mentioned Ostiio Bi-flex in his post.

    Found a $5 off coupon for anyone that might be thinking of trying it. It was on page 15, second down left side.

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    My dad had both knees replaced and my mom had 1 knee replaced. My dad's left knee was so bad when he walked his leg looked like it had been wrapped around a bull. One could see the knee 'pop' further to the left when he took a step on it.

    That was a lot of years ago and the recovery was tough back then. However, it made a great difference in both of their lives.

    My mom needed a second knee replacement but she put it off because of the fear on the recovery pain, she got to a point where it was too late and ended up in a wheel chair and the struggles trying to be a bit mobile out of the wheel chair.

  • deltadawndeltadawn Posts: 94
    Hi, I'm an RN, too and I have to agree with "Hungry." If your cardiologist and orthopedic surgeon agree you are a good candidate for surgery you will probably do very well. I have seen many patients in your weight range that have had knee replacements. If the knee replacements can eliminate your pain you would have the energy and the ability to start increasing your activity and exercise which would benefit your heart health. I have heard many patients say "why did I wait so long to have this done?" They are so surprised, even say their post op pain is less than before surgery.
    I did work at a hospital that uses peripheral nerve pain pain pump and this really helps with the first couple days of post op pain. You have always demonstrated quite a positive attitude on life on this forum, so I believe you would use that positive attitude in your recovery and even into your weight loss.

    Water aerobics and swimming are excellent for this kind of pain.

    I, also, have a bad back and neck with bad arthritis, but so far can't replace the spine! I do occaisional use the product BioFreeze. It is temporary, similar to menthol rubs. But it certainly has helped me get to sleep at night. It just seems to be a much better product than Bengay.

    Good Luck, wishing you pain free days ahead. Dawn
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    Thanks for what you said about a 'positive attitude.' I definitely try to keep one although sometimes it is a bit of a challenge. On the other hand, it takes less effort to be positive and upbeat than it does to be negative and down-in-the-dumps.

    I've also used BioFreeze for my back problem and it helped. It took four epidurals over about a year and a half to convince me that surgery might be the answer. As it turned out, my back problem was genetic: spinal stenosis in L3 L4 & L5. Apparently my Mom and Dad didn't build me right.

    The pain didn't start to impact my life until I was in my mid-50's and it kept getting worse until I opted for the Laminectomy. I'm now pain free in my back, a wonderful feeling for sure.

    Now the only thing wrong with me is the knees. Well, I'm told I also have a loose screw somewhere LOL.

    BioFreeze doesn't help my knees much but I happened on an article about Tiger Balm and tried it. It works very well, although not permanent for sure. Turns out that many professional sports people use it for their game injuries. I'll probably have some on me when I go to bed tonight.

    Anyway, thanks for the post and advice.

    Spring "Tiger On My Knee" Chicken
  • FlaMikeFlaMike Posts: 648
    Thanks for the kind words. Feel free to email me with any questions you might have along the way. Sounds like you've got a good therapist. I hope it all turns out well.
    I hope I can provide you with half as much helpful PT info as you have provided me with BBQ info.
  • CBBQCBBQ Posts: 610
    You hit the nail right on the head with reimbursement percentages. My wife has owned a medical bill collections agency for 25 years. She works for Doctors and hospitals trying to get HMO's and Workmen's Comp Lawyers to pay the medical bills. The problem, and reason for the huge profits is the slight of hand and perception put on by the insurance companies. In my own personal case I've had 4 surgeries in the last 5 years. My HMO put on paper that the total cost of those operations was $136,000.00. Those figures are what they use to establish premiums. However, what they actually paid to my Doctors was $42,000. So the high premiums with low disbursement is where the enormous profits come in.
    Another reason to need health care insurance is because if you had the same surgeries as I had without insurance the biggest help that I could probably get is a 10% "uninsured" discount.
    I don't like what's on the table right now but I'm also tired of other factions bitching without providing an alternative solution. I don't buy the "shut out" BS because they only have to take their ideas to the public to put pressure on.
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    I want to thank everyone for your replies to my question. They were many and they were loaded with lots of good information. I appreciate it very much.

    I think I'll schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon who worked on my knee a few years ago. He's big into sports medicine and has a good reputation in Houston. Although my problem is definitely not sports related, it must have some similarities to sports injuries and the resulting treatment/therapy.

    Oddly, my knees don't hurt too bad today. But I know that's temporary.

    Anyway, thanks much. I now know a lot more than I did before.

    Spring "Another Day, Another Doctor" Chicken
  • Is the dowel exercise for your knee pain? If so I know someone who may benefit from that. Can you please share the method involved?
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