Around two months ago I suddenly developed pain in the right side of my right knee. I went to two orthos and they told me wear and tear in my miniscus. I took an MRI and it did not show anything except mild degeneration which I am sure most people over 40 have and do not walk around with pain. SO now, the drs. want to give me shots or possibly surgery. I am so upset about not knowing what to do or what it is I have or why I have this. I posted on the cholesterol board that I have been taking niacin for my choles. Some of the people on that board mentioned joint pain from niacin. I never would have thought of this Have any of you heard of this before? If not, can anyone give me some explanations as to what or why I have this pain. I really do not think it is arthritis all of a sudden like this - just out of no where. Do you? I am going for PT right now, and I feel that I am wasting time and money. Meanwhile, this is ruining my life because I am a walker and I can't walk without pain. Please, I need help and advice. I am new to all of this and just do not understand Thank You
Sarah, two months of knee pain, huh? Well I have knee pain also, like the knee cap, does it hurt when you move it around? Mine does. Sometimes it feels like it's beneath the knee cap, the pain moves around. I take 2 @ 500MG of Tylenol when I feel the need lesson the pain. It does a good job. I would say you probably have arthritis in your knee, mine started in the left knee, then the right knee. But as far as shots in there, I wouldn't do it. No surgeries either, till you get a handle on this. Let's see what other comments you get here.
thanks for your reply. I am so perplexed as to what to do. It only hurts when I walk on it, not when at rest. I was told that I have mild degeneration- is that enough to do this to me? And I am not sure if the niacin is doing this to me either. It is just so frustrating for me to know what to do
i tore up my meniscus and had the anterior cruciate ligament completely torn in 1975. at that time, doc told me it would take 6 months to a year to get back to work if he did the surgery (very much improved ways to deal with this problem today). too long....i was recently married, and had a new baby. back then, a couple could live on one income....not disability tho.
it got progressively worse and i had an arthroscopy in '85. had cartilage trimmed, underside of knee cap scraped and all loose junk removed. again, no acl reconstruction (don't remember why...too, too long ago). most of my pain was on the inside of the knee, but it did seem to move at times....my knee would fill with fluid....a couple times i had it drained....it would be ok for awhile, but, it would eventually swell up again. i gave up on the tap and nursed the knee when it got bad (lotsa ice). this was not easy with my job.
in '98 it was way past the time to get the acl reconstruction. i had it done and while kneee was better, i didn't think the surgery placed high on the success chart. maybe i expected too much.......i don't know.
I need a new knee now. not surprising, but, doc said there's something funky going on with the bones that may give them grief. he sent me back to my rhuematologist to have her take a shot at it before surgery.
she gave me a five shot series of Hyalgan (replaces synovial fluid)......didn't help beyond the temporary relief from the Novocain in the cocktail.
something i've learned is that people react differently to drugs and surgery. it's an individual thing. i would get the scoop from the docs, then research myself and go back to doc and we'd decide what to do from there. big point here.....you'll hear pros and cons regarding any treatment.
i've had cortisone shots at my lumbar spine, shoulder and the mix with the Hyalgan in the knee. not sure when, but, there comes a point where your body can no longer take the cortisone.
i'm guessing that there's not a serious acute problem or doc wouldn't be sending you to pt, which means you have time to check into what docs want to do....no hurry!
Ed Thanks for writing me I do not have a torn miniscus. The mRI showed that but the doc said that it is "beaten up" whatever that means. He said wear and tear. So, why would I need surgery for this? I sure don't want to do this, but I sure do not like being like a cripple either. I have no idea how this happenned to me. It came out of no where and i am very worried as to why. THe ortho. is doing all sorts of blood tests on me- ana , titer, lupus, lymes, and who knows what else because I cannot tell him why this happenned. Meanwhile, I do PT and exercise all the time. IT hurts on the inside of my right knee and only when I walk on it or twist it funny. The steps are killers too. So, what am I suppose to do. The syvac shots are the next step but I am really afraid of those for fear of side affects. I sure am afraid of cortisone and I know that this is not good for the body too. Any advise???
Hi Sarah....I'm afraid of cortisone shots also. Years ago when I was diagnosed with cataracts at age of 40, the first question Mayo Clinic asked me was did I take cortisone. So that's one side effect, but in my case it was hereditary. I guess I'd rather go will pills of some sort, but not cortisone.
from what i've learned, what happens is that the cartilage (meniscus), when torn and tattered from wear and tear or trauma, will get bunched up within the joint which causes the pain, swelling and instablility. again, from what i know, pieces of the cartilage can come lose and float around inside the joint with the same results.
some believe glucosamine/chondroitin (over the counter) will help stop the degeneration and even reverse it in some cases. i don't know.....by the time i started it, my knee was long gone. i still use it tho...just in case it may help other joints not so far gone.
i've had lotsa pt...nada! (and, i did everything i could stand in pt and at home). as far as the shots are concerned, i wouldn't have gotten them if i could live with the knee the way it was. the same goes for the surgery....last resort.
the arthroscopy is minimally invasive. just three or four little holes where they go in and trim the cartilage and clean up the joint. if the only problem with the joint is the meniscus, it should feel like a new knee, as long as you don't let it go as long as i did.
you can get a lot of information from medicinenet.com and web/md.
so i'm clear, and, knowing what i know now, having the arthroscopy before any cortisone or Hyalgan was the thing to do. it's about a 45 minute job and can be done in the doc's office. i believe they can do it with a local. that wasn't an option for me. i'm a scaredy cat when it comes to docs....it's called white coat hypertension. can't help it...no matter how hard i try to set my mind to the task of seeing a doc, when i walk into their offices, i'm dropping stuff, get the jitters and tripping all over my tongue. don't laugh, it's not funny!!!!
take care and let me know what you're gonna do. gotta look out for my fellow Joiseyites.
In response to your concerns about the pain on the inside of your knee: I am 60 yr. old and have had so many health issues, including severe arthritis all my life, that I've finally learned, over time, not to worry about everything. You are so worried and you're not even sure what you're worried about. First, talk to your primary physician, if you have one you trust. Tell him/her you want a second opinion on your knee. If need be get a third opinion until someone sits down with you & fully explains exactly what your problem is and what your best options are and in which order. With me, when I've had knee troubles, much like yours, the first thing usually done is a cortisone injection in the affected knee. Then resting the knee for 2 to 3 weeks. If it isn't healed by then P.T. is started, if that is of no help, arthroscopy is offered next. I've not gotten to the P.T. part yet!! But I did not walk for 3 weeks because I couldn't even bear weight it was so badly damaged. That healed it. This has happened to me twice already. They even said I needed a new knee. I'm glad I didn't worry about everything. I did what I could and filled my down time with meaningful activities, like painting & drawing, writing, sending cards, etc. to fill my mind with positive thoughts.
What I'm trying to say is, you are so fortunate to be able to be a "walker" and have apparently otherwise healthy joints. Please don't waste your precious energy worrying. Search for the answers & solutions , take action, and give thanks. God bless you. Sue
SUe Thanks for your reply- I am worried because I love to walk and I don't want that ruined for me. I have bee to an ortho, and now I am seeing a rheumatologist this week to see what she says. I have been going to PT for 5 weeks now and I do see a little difference but not enough that I can walk without a knee brace. No one has suggested surgery because I did not tear anything. I might ask for the synvisc shots next time.
when i was a sophmore in high school I was having the same issue with my knee. My doctor told me that it was just some wear and tear. He said to avoid invasive surgery and cortisone shots I needed to do a few things. One, was wear arch supports because high arches can cause extra strees on the inside minisci, two, he had me stay off of it for a few weeks, just so the injury had time to start healing. this injury can heal on its own because theire is good circulation on the knee,. Also, he gave me a knee brace with support on each side so that my knee could not move side to side. I had to wear this knee brace during all physical activity that required lateral movement, and I had to wear it for 6 months on a daily basis-but my knee had been having problems for over a year at this point. I hope this helps in some way. Another thing you can do is stretch your quads because if they are too tight, your platella can get pulled out of place putting stress on the rest of your knee