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arthritis in my knee

ChrisChris Posts: 15
edited 14. Oct 2019, 07:25 in Say hello
Hi I have had two knee surgeries on my right knee the last one was December 2018. I have torn my meniscus cartilage twice, I have really struggled with the recovery, I have now been told I have arthritis in my knee, I am struggling with the pain and it has affected my life big time. I struggle at work and at home some days I come home and just sit and cry, my wife tries to help but I can see she is losing patience with me as well. My surgeon wants to operate on me again in October this has made me even more anxious. I Lay awake at night worrying about my Job and my future I am 46 years old and now move around like a 86 year old.
Any advice all help would be most welcome. In the space of 5 years my life has changed dramatically.
Kind regards.
Chris.

Comments

  • moderatormoderator Posts: 4,083 mod
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Chris and welcome to the Versus Arthritis forums.

    I'm so sorry to hear that you now have arthritis following two operations on your right knee, along with the prospect of a further operation.

    You don't say what, if any, medication you are taking for the pain. It does sound as though a visit to your doctor or consultant to have pain relief prescribed would be useful. Certainly, they need to know your experience and to hear what support they can give you.

    The website has some useful information on pain management, but consulting your doctor may be the best first step.

    https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/managing-symptoms/managing-your-pain/

    If you need to talk to someone confidentially, our Helplines are available free Monday-Friday 9am–8pm. Telephone 0800 5200 520

    All best wishes
    Brynmor
  • ChrisChris Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi yes sorry my Doctor has prescribed me Naproxen and Solpadol this does help a little but it does come with side affects. I was wondering if there was any other her medications I could take to help with the pain. I struggle walking for more than five minutes at a time and this can be difficult at work as I am a engineer and am on my feet a lot.
    Kind regards.
    Chris.
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I remember when my first arthritis began back in 1997, in my left knee, how difficult it made things. That was an auto-immune kind then osteoarthritis was diagnosed in 2011. Some joints have one, some the other and others both.

    There is little that GPs can do to treat the condition, pain relief, maybe an anti-inflammatory medication and a referral to physio for specific and suitable exercises are about it. Every medication comes with a list of potential side effects, even 'natural' remedies can be deleterious to one's health if misused. I have had to take constant medication from the age of twelve so side-effects are of little concern - if I start anything new and it emerges that I cannot cope with then I try something else but coming at this from a healthy background makes it a very different proposition.

    I took naproxen for a couple of years, it did nothing for my pain and inflammation but was the cheaper option for the GP to prescribe. I did not realise it was doing nothing until I stopped it and nothing worsened. :lol: I took it with omeprazole, a stomach protector, and hope you have that too. My husband takes it for a week or so, every now and again, to deal with his gout flares and it works very well for him but gout is not OA.

    Solpadol is (I think) the over-the-counter version of co-codamol and, like all pain relief, it relieves very little and not for very long. It is a combination of oxeine and paracetamol, It's fine for temporary pain such as a headache or toothache but for the long-haul of an arthritic life nothing does much good: the more you use the more you need to achieve less and less so you try the stronger stuff and so it goes on. It's better for the long-term to take a little every day and get used to functioning with pain. When you hit the morphine stage of pain relief you are not so aware of the pain but then you're not aware of much else either. I am guessing from your name and occupation that you are male which is unfortunate: males have more pain receptors than females (for obvious reasons) and do feel pain more keenly. I take between four and six 30/500 cocodamol per day (this has to be prescribed) and eat around twenty prunes per day to deal with the resulting constipation, a side-effect that is easily dealt with (personally I would prefer six pints and a jalfrezi on a daily basis but the meds for my other arthritis prohibit that far more pleasurable solution).

    I honestly cannot remember much about my early years with it but I was young enough to still have plastic thinking and was willing to use a stick to ease the strain on my left knee. I was used to ill-health and living a compromised life but this must be so much harder for you. Are you already hearing the ill-informed guff about being too young for arthritis, being lumped in with pensioners (oh that, yeah, my gran had it) and being told that eating nothing but dandelion leaves for a year will cure it? (I made that one up, please don't try it because it won't work). I cannot advise on work but ensure you can sit for periods to ease the strain, exercise suitably to keep your leg muscles stronger and more flexible to better support your joints (non-weight bearing is good such as swimming and cycling), use a stick held in the opposite hand to ease the strain so your good knee does not join the party. Any form of arthritis is progressive and degenerative, it does not get better and does not go away, but some are fortunate in that it stays localised and, when surgery finally becomes an option, it can be dealt with this restoring a better quality of life. I know arthritics in my 'real' life who are doing considerably better than me so I know it's an option - I hope it's yours too. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,897
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Chris. I'm really sorry things are so tough for you. Arthritis is hard enough when one doesn't have a job which is so demanding on aching knees. I have RA and OA and have had knees and hip's replaced which helped enormously. What operation is your surgeon planning?

    I'm not a big believer in pain relief as I find it can render me comatose and one just gets tolerant to it so that one needs more and stronger to get the same result. Mind you, it has its uses.

    Is there any way your work can be made less demanding for your knees? By law, employers must make reasonable adjustments for disability. I'm a big believer in physio. Having to walk a lot will exercise some muscles a great deal but others will not be working well unless we really exercise them in other ways. A physiotherapist might be able to help. Also, a knee support though only if used sparingly. We need strong muscles and knee supports do encourage weakness in them but are still useful for short periods.

    I wonder (and please forgive me if I'm being intrusive) in your anxiety to get back to work, might you have rushed your previous recoveries from surgery and so compromised them? If so, do give yourself time, with the next one, to ensure you get enough post_op rest and exercises but not things which might hamper recovery.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • ChrisChris Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Stickywicket thanks for the advice it is much appreciated, listening to you guys I realise that I am not on my own sometimes when you are in a lot of pain your world shrinks and there is no help but your advice has helped a lot.
    My surgeon wants to perform a arthroscopy to have a look for the reason of my continued pain the M.R.I. scan I had in May this year showed arthritis and scar tissue but he thinks that is not the primary cause of all my pain in my knee. We shall see, the last arthroscopy I had in December 2018 I followed the recovery guidelines to the letter I did all the physio and returned to light duties after six weeks off work, but to no prevail over the last eight months it feels as if I have gone backwards. I am going to see my GP and talk to him about the next course of action if the arthroscopy does not have a positive outcome, so now its just a waiting game I am due for the operation in October. Work have been great to be fair and have supported me all the way so I am fortunate in that respect. To be honest I am not very confident about the success of these types of operations but I feel I have very little choice so I shall see, fingers crossed.
    Regards
    Chris.
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Your world shrinks if you allow it. When pain is focused on one area that does make it more apparent and so more dominant but working with it and through it lessens its effect - a hard lesson to learn. Rest when you can, with the affected leg elevated and the knee supported by a cushion or pillow, exercise to keep the leg muscles stronger and use pain relief, dulling the sharper edges can be enough to help us get on.

    Surgery can work wonders but once a joint is damaged that damage is done and cannot be undone. Replacement joints can be amazing but they are not handed out like canapes at a cocktail party: I was refused new knees aged 52 on the grounds of youth. :lol: Now all the other leg joints are shot they're not worth having done, the thought of a pain-free oasis in the middle of the rest of it is abhorrent. This is far worse for you than it is for me, I hope things improve and please let us know how you get on. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,897
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think you're trying hard to make the most of a not-very-encouraging job. I've been so lucky with my surgeries. To feel no difference, or even deterioration, must be very disheartening. At least your surgeon is anxious to sort it out. I do understand your feelings about arthroscopy. I would have mixed feelings myself but, on the plus side, I have a friend for whom it worked extremely well. And, at least you know the ropes with the post-op stuff. You did it right last time and so you can do it right again. Hopefully with a better outcome.

    Going back to your original post where you say your wife is getting fed up too. We always say on here that arthritis affects everyone in the family albeit in different ways. I've had it for years but my husband is now awaiting a hip replacement so I'm seeing the other side of the coin. He's frustrated that his golf and walking have gone and much of his gardening. He can't take our young grandson to the golf course either. I'm having to restrain myself too. Our 'wheelchair walks' have ceased as he can't push me and I mustn't nag him about getting that suitcase back into the loft: it'll just have to wait for our son. This, too, will be making him feel old and useless. I've noticed that he's started to take my advice about medication - a sure sign that he's not himself :lol:

    I think a difficulty for 'the other person' is that they feel useless. Unable to help. That is so frustrating for them. Talking about each one's feelings is good. It's easy to assume that our nearest and dearest know - or even should know - how we feel but arthritis can act as a barrier to communication. For us, who have it, we tread a fine line between overloading our pain onto others and shutting them out. It's not easy. I have often found that a good meal with a nice, relaxing bottle of wine, can help a lot.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • ChrisChris Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi its been a while since I posted my topic! Had my third right knee operation last Friday, the surgeon spoke to before and after surgery, he was not sure what he would find but did reassure me that if he couldn't improve the situation then a partial or full knee replacement, was a option even at 46! On coming round after the op he informed me that there was a portion of my knee with no cartilage present where there should be, he performed micro fracture on the area to encourage cartilage growth he was pretty hopeful this would improve my knee. Down side crutch`s for at least six weeks then start gentle physio. I know this will not help the arthritis but fingers crossed it may improve my situation, we shall see? Thanks for all the comments and information it has helped a lot.
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,897
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    :D That sounds promising, Chris, and thanks for the update. The best of luck m0150
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • ChrisChris Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks stickywicket :mrgreen:
  • ChrisChris Posts: 15
    edited 19. Jul 2020, 18:58

    Hi well its been a while since my last post. Unfortunately things have  not improved with my terrible right knee. 8 months on from my third key hole arthroscopy the pain and stiffness is the same if not a little worse. This has been especially tough during lockdown as it has for everybody else. My Doctor has prescribed me Amitriptyline to help me sleep due to anxiety and stress of worrying about work plus cocodamol and ibuprofen  for the pain management. two physio therapists have told me that a partial knee is probably the answer due to the lack of cartelidge left on the inside of my knee. Some days are ok and I can manage but some are just lost in a haze of pain and fatigue. The one positive is my wife has seen just how much I am struggling and has been my rock, if not for her I don't honestly know where I would be now. I hope one day I can repay her for the support and comfort she has given me. We have saved up a bit of spare cash and I have booked a private consultation with a professor .. in Harrogate he can access all my scans and x-rays from earlier on this year I am just hoping he can give me a little hope as to what I need. He is a expert in Knee orthopaedics from elite sports people to weekend warriors and has performed thousands of knee resurfacing and knee replacements. I know one thing for sure I cannot continue working like this the pain some days is off the scale.


    *Edited out the name of the professor CK

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