Welcome to the world of knee arthritis. Yes, you have arthritis in your knee. Let me explain.
Arthritis, no matter which kind, causes the cartilage in the knee to start to fall apart. It starts with tiny pieces that flake off and float around in the joint fluid and occasionally get caught in the joint and it can feel like something got wedged in your knee. Or it may not hurt at all.
But the body is very good at taking care of itself so it has it's own knee "garbage can" behind the knee. There is a bursa behind the knee that helps to supply joint fluid to the knee and through this connection, can also take in bits of cartilage that float around in the knee. It kind if sucks the bits into it. That causes it to get inflamed and hurt and it is swollen because it is sucking in this stuff, but it will go down as the bits dissolve.
They didn't know this was a bursa initially so it was called a Baker's Cyst(after someone named Baker, not food) and still is. It is often the very first sign that you have arthritis in your knee.
So yes, you have arthritis, most likely osteoarthritis in the early stages. Time to start keeping the leg muscles strong to help protect it. Walking daily actually helps early arthritis as it forces joint fluid through the cartilage and that is good for it. Everything should be low or no impact exercise.
If the doc suggests taking the bursa out....run the other way...they grow back. Besides, we all need a garbage can now and then for the aging body.
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Thanks for such an informative response! You're definitely more helpful than my doctor was.
Yes, he said it was early, mild osteoarthritis. I'd already been walking a couple miles five times a week -- so this is kind of surprising. I'd also been running a few blocks with each walk -- guess I should stop that.
His recommendation was physical therapy, icing and 2400 mg. Motrin daily for ten days. I don't like the idea of medication -- would you think I could cut that dose down to 1200 mg, and it would still have some effect?
I'd start with the 2400mgs a day and then decrease as you feel relief. You need the boost from the anti-inflammatory effect. Get the over the counter stuff and take 4 at a time(that's 800mgs) and take it 3 times a day and then decrease it to 3, 3 times a day and then 2, 3 times a day. That gets you down to 1200mgs. You can actually go as high as 3200mgs/day but you are risking stomach trouble if you take it too much.
And do stop the running portion of your walk....that is what is causing the problem. Just walk....good for your knee and your heart.
Should make a difference.
Glad I could explain it....took me a while to get the full story out of my docs too!
Do the three doses of the Motrin need to be evenly spaced out? To put it another way, what's the shortest increment I could safely have between them?
I have a sleep disorder and honestly need to be in bed for at least eleven hours a night. In the past, whenever I've had to take antibiotics 3x a day -- it's been grueling. I wonder if there's any way around the 3x a day with the Motrin.
I should mention that the pain really isn't unbearable -- most of the time it's not there at all. But the swelling usually is.
I will stop the running -- that's one thing I can do.
It's not like antibiotics. Motrin can be taken every 4-6 hours so you can work in that time frame...every 4, 5 , 6 hours as you need to use it and get your sleep.
To make it easier on your stomach, try taking the Motrin with breakfast, lunch and dinner no matter how far apart they are. It has a cumulative effect. Food will help to protect your stomach but not interfere with the drug.