Hello from new arthritis member

Hello all. I joined the forum because I recently began having chronic discomfort, pain and weakness in my left knee and want to know more about what it is and how to treat it from people with similar conditions. 

I have found that peers often have very useful information and experiences and can contribute things that doctors can’t.

I went to a see a physio and a doctor who said I had osteoarthritis, but they did no scans or other tests and offered me some anti-inflammatory pills and a few exercises to do.

The pills didn’t seem to do much, and the physio exercises haven’t helped much either so far.


The condition began about 5 weeks ago. 

It started with a feeling of tightness and puffiness at the back of both my legs when I was standing where they bend at the knee. 

Then the situation got worse in my left knee area, and I started getting pains along the inside of my left leg from above to below my knee. They feel like tendon or ligament pains, not pain in the knee itself.

I also feel pains along the right side of my knee at times and a general sense of weakness when using my knee to climb stairs or pivot around.

The front of the knee itself has developed more pronounced bumps on it compared to the other knee, as if the bone was thickening in places, and there is a general swelling and puffiness along both sides and top of the knee.


I don’t feel any continual pain when I walk, but I feel continual discomfort in my knee/leg area in most situations or positions during the day and night.

It feels stiff when I first try to use it after sitting or lying down and then loosens up when I walk a little. 

Wearing good shoes makes walking less uncomfortable.

It feels a bit better in the mornings and gets sorer during the day, and the knee pain feels more pronounced if I carry something a bit heavy like grocery bags, and it can be a bit uncomfortable while sleeping. 

The pain pills and anti-inflammatory gels and pills don’t have much effect.


I don’t have a history of arthritis or knee injuries, although I tore a ligament or tendon in my knee about 5 years ago while running around a tight corner, but that healed up completely and it may have been the other leg anyway (I forget).

I am a 72-year-old man with no other health issues. 

So far, I don’t take any daily medications. 

I don’t do much exercise and don’t drink or smoke and am slightly above normal weight. 


I have been trying to find out more about potential treatments, alternative therapies, any exercises or foods/vitamins that might help (or should avoid) and any advice from others with the same condition. I even wonder if it could be something other than arthritis.

The doctor mentioned injections of cortisone or some other substance and knee surgery, but I worry about the consequences of continual injections, and I haven’t heard a lot of positive things about knee surgery.

Thank you for any information or advice that you can offer.

Comments

  • HelenS
    HelenS Administrator Posts: 83

    Hi @surferjoe

    Welcome to the online community,

    Everyone here has some experience of arthritis - including moderators as well as our community members. So we have that understanding and common experience to share so I'm sure you will find a lot of help and advice here.

    You are experiencing chronic pain in your knee and are looking for advice on help and treatments.

    Knee pain can develop gradually over time, might come on suddenly, or might repeatedly come and go. Whatever pattern the pain has, it is most often not due to arthritis, but might be in some people. The most common form of knee pain is osteoarthritis and is the most common type of arthritis and can affect anyone at any age, but it is most common in people over 50.

    I have included some links below on osteoarthritis and knee pain, hopefully you will find these useful.

    You may also want to have a look at our Living with arthritis discussion where you will find lots of useful posts from members experiencing similar symptoms.

    Please do get back in touch

    Best wishes Helen

  • surferjoe
    surferjoe Member Posts: 3

    Thanks. 

    I just got a basic stationary bicycle to see if it can help my knee osteoarthritis after the doctor suggested bike riding as a good exercise for my knee, but I would like to have some idea of what sort of exercise routine I should follow.

    The bike has variable tension settings to make the pedalling more or less difficult, and I was just trying it today on the light settings and feeling a little leg fatigue after about 3 minutes of regular pedalling. I also felt a little knee pain in my other knee at times while cycling, but nothing hard or long lasting.

    Could someone please suggest how much I should do to begin with and how much to increase over time?

    Am I aiming to strengthen the leg muscles with more difficult pedalling or do more easy pedalling to increase the lubrication of the knee joint? 

    Should I avoid any knee pain while cycling or keep working through it? Should I continue to do other physio exercises for my knee in addition to the cycling?

    Thanks for any advice.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 27,862

    Morning @surferjoe

    Nice to meet you and welcome you to the forum from me.

    Somebody here once said if I am still in pain hours after doing exercise I have done too much. To be honest it's difficult to judge, but definitely you should build up your exercise and no overdo it too quickly.

    This article is a good one it gives tips on exercise and just generally coping with knee pain:

    I think your bike is a brilliant idea and am thinking of getting one myself for my hip.

    I've also been using the exercises in here myself (not knee rather hip in my case)

    Best of luck

    Toni x

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