Severe knee pain


I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my right knee a few years ago and had keyhole surgery done on it. The last few months the pain has got a lot worse and I have been unable to put any weight it. Been referred to see the consultant on 24th November 2020 and been taking Tramadol and ibuprofen and not really working. Also been applying ice packs. What should I do as the pain is extremely bad.


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,425

    Hi @Steve065

    Sorry about your knee sounds really painful. Tramadol is one of the painkillers 'up there' for moderate to severe pain so not sure what else the Drs might be happy to prescribe for you😕

    Are you having any other treatment? Physio? You just have to get to 24th November to see what the consultant recommends but in the meantime have you tried warm wheat-bag that you microwave for instance? I have used tens machines too in the past in fact I've worn out 2 machines!!

    Let us know how you get on

    take care

  • helpline_team

    Dear Steve065

    Thank you for your posting on the forum and I apologise for the delay in replying.

    I am sorry hear that you are in so much pain in your knee. It is positive that you are to see a consultant so that you can talk through with them about options for treatment.  There are things you can do that may help to make a difference to how the condition affects you.

    As your pain relief isn’t helping you can speak to your GP about reviewing this. Exercise can also help manage the condition and, as suggested by frogmorton, you can ask your GP for a referral to a physio.

    Though you would need to speak to your GP about their suitability for you, in addition, you could also ask your GP about other treatments, for example, Capsaicin cream, which is a pain-relieving cream available on prescription. Steroid injections, an injection directly into the knee joint, which can help reduce swelling and pain.

    We have information on the above and other ways to manage the condition such as reducing the strain on your knees and using Tens Machines. There are more details in the link below which takes you to our information on osteoarthritis of the knee.

    I hope the above information is helpful to you.

    If you feel you would like to talk things through with one of our helpline team you are very welcome to call us. Our number is 0800 5200 520 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 8pm).

    Best Wishes


  • littlemum
    littlemum Member Posts: 3

    Hi @Steve065, I am 39 years old and I also have Osteoarthritis but in both of my knees. Like you, I have had keyhole surgery (2 arthroscopies on each knee), the first was aged 19 on my left knee, after which I was told it was ‘wear and tear’ and would get worse as I got older, the same was said aged 25 when the right knee was scoped. I had to have both scoped again aged 30 in 2011 as my pain had increased and my mobility was being impacted. Scans and x-rays prior to surgery indicated that it was early OA both times, and both times turned out to be worse than they thought and it was recorded as grade 3 patellofemoral osteoarthritis. Whilst the first scopes helped, the second ones left me in more pain and since then I have had to walk with the aid of crutches. The surgeons would not offer me any further intervention because I was ‘too young’. Since then I was under the care of the pain clinic for a few years who also diagnosed fibromyalgia in 2013, I have tried many different things to help me, the most effective I found was slow release morphine but that caused weight gain amongst other things so after about 18 months I came off them at my request. I now muddle on with 100mg tramadol 4 times daily which takes the edge off and 150mg amitriptyline to help with fibro and remain under the care of my GP but I still suffer pain. Have you tried a TENS machine? I bought one for at home after loaning one from the pain clinic which helps when I use it! I have also tried capsaicin cream, acupuncture, mindfulness classes, cortisone injections (which didn’t help for long) etc. I don’t see any surgeons as the last one I saw in 2016 said he wants to get me to at least 45 before he will offer anything else. Sometimes I feel like they’ve consigned me to the scrap heap! As hard as it is at times I have learned to live life in the slow lane, I don’t see any point in asking my GP for a further referral as it just upsets me when I have to tell them what life is like for them to then say they still don’t want to do anything. Fortunately I do have my 13 year old daughter to help me at home. Sorry for rambling on, I can only hope that your appointment with the surgeons is more fruitful than my experiences! Please post back here after your appointment on the 24th to let us know how you get on!

    Take care 😊