Quad problems

sirius
sirius Member Posts: 7
edited 9. Apr 2009, 18:09 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi everyone

I registered on here a while back and pop in every now and then to browse.

I've experienced problems with my right knee since I was about 15, on and off, nothing major just a niggling pain. Doctors never really said much and I hadn't been back to them since I was around 20 about it. I'll be 40 this year.

About 4 years ago I suddenly experienced a big problem with my right knee, I could barely walk and the pain had me in tears every day. Above my kneecap was swollen and I literally couldn't straighten my leg properly. I saw nearly every doctor at the surgery on individual occasions and was told that I had fluid on my knee and to return to have it drained. On return, I got a different doctor who said, absolutely not, I'm referring you Dr X who is the physio expert. Long story short, he said it was something wrong with my quadriceps extension and referred me for physio. The physio said I was very lucky, that if it had gone on much longer, I probably wouldn't have got full use of the leg back properly - because the doctors were so insistent it was fluid, I was repeatedly told to rest the leg, to the extent of a week of, leg up, when actually I should have been exercising it. Anyhow, everything great since then, no problems at all. Despite repeatedly asking, they couldn't tell me what caused it, I was advised that women often get this sort of thing, related to hip movement over the years/childbirth etc.

A year ago I went to the docs because I'd developed herberdens' nodes on my fingers. I knew what it meant and the doc confirmed it was OA. However, he was quite dismissive, simply said I already knew what it was, to use ibuprofen if I needed to, some folk swear by glucosamine blah blah. I haven't been back since.

In the last week or so, my knee muscle is starting to go again, I know the feeling and can see the difference looking at my knee. I've been religiously doing the same exercises that the physio had given me before in the hope that this would stop it in its tracks. But it's getting progressively worse, pretty much a repeat of last time.

I've made an appointment to go see a different doc, but couldn't get one for a week. I've had a look online and see that there is quite a lot about OA in the knee related to the quad extension muscle. I really just wondered if anyone here had experienced the same thing? I'm making assumptions that this is OA related, but I think I know in my mind it is.

Thanks for listening.

Comments

  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sirius

    Sorry to hear that you are suffering big time with your knee. Are you still only taking ibuprofen for the pain and discomfort? Have you been told to cycle or use an exercise bike for the knee by your physio? I have oa of the knees and had a total knee replacement in January last year and the other one needs "attention" sooner than later. Sorry I am not being much help here, but I wished to reply to your posting and hope that you can get it sorted in some way or other soon.

    I would have thought you should have been offered some stronger meds but perhaps you have, but prefer not to go down that road.

    Chin up

    Elna
  • sirius
    sirius Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for your reply Elna.

    My hands get really sore, but no so much that I can't cope, I just take the ibuprofen. I know from experience that I have a high pain threshold, lol. I should really have gone to another doc after the first one was so dismissive, but I really did think oh well, such is life, just have to get on with it. I feel like I've aged in the last year though and since I haven't hit 40 yet this latest problem with my knee has made me really start to think about the implications for the future.

    I was given no recommendations about exercise after the physio, as at the time I think they just assumed it to be a one-off incident.
    I did get myself a bike last year, but since it's been about 30 years since I was on one, I need to break myself back in to it, lol, and I'd been putting it off. Might be an idea to get on with it. I know swimming is meant to be good, but I just don't enjoy it!

    I really just wondered if this quad issue was as common as it appears to be from researching on the net, at least in association with OA and thought there might be folks here who had experienced it.

    Thanks for your kind words, from reading this form I can see that everyone is so supportive and it's really heartwarming.
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi sirius

    Likewise, swimming does not do much for me at all either, probably because I am not any good at it, and always need to know that my feet will touch the bottom of the pool! :oops: :lol: I do like cycling though :D and although I do not go far, I find it much more comfortable than walking even after one knee replacement. Perhaps you should try an exercise bike first - safer - but can be boring! I do 10 minutes on the exercise bike every day.

    I have not heard about the quad issue though. Perhaps it may have helped me...... I was only told to strengthen my femur by sitting on a desk and swinging my legs backwards and forwards. Quite pleasant actually, like being on a swing :lol::lol:

    I wish you well, you are only a youngster, with children to look after and a full time job so you need to try and get sorted soon, if you are able.

    Luv
    Elna
  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 8,681
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sirius
    I don't know about the quad muscles, but your knee problem sounds very much like mine. I have also had a swollen knee and had the fluid drained.At the same time, I had a steroid injection which took the pain away for quite a while.

    Last Dec. I had arthroscopy (key-hole surgery) and had the joint cleaned up. Since then, I've had physio and acupuncture. Even though I have been told that the OA was worse than they thought, and that I will probably need a knee replacement, I feel that the treatment I've had has improved things quite a lot.

    I think you need to see a specialist because you are young and there might be more ways to help you than the treatment you had before.You also need to know whether it is arthritis related. Today, I went to the hospital and they have fitted me with a knee support, so that will help me too.

    You are entitled to ask for a second opinion if you aren't satisfied with the response of the doctor or consultant.
    Joan
  • sirius
    sirius Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for your replies, and also thankyou so much for calling me young :D I've feeling older than my years!

    I specified an appointment at the docs with the Dr who specialises in physio/ortho related stuff (I think he does physio work with one of the local football clubs) as he was the one who sorted me out last time and I figure he'll be more likely to get to the bottom of it.

    We'll see what happens, I guess a lot depends on how much my knee deteriorates over the next week before my appt unless I can ward it off with exercise.
  • sirius
    sirius Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, me again, sorry!

    Had my appointment with the gp last night - unfortunately not the man I wanted as apparently he's actually left the practice! Still, the doc I got was good so I'm not complaining.

    He took a look at both my knees, did a bit of manipulation etc (boy was my knee hurting after that) and was concerned not only by my history, but by the 'clunk' in my knee as he played around. He then told me that he could quite clearly see that my knee has started to 'deform into the classic arthritis twist' (his precise words). :shock: My knees have looked like that for years, which I mentioned, and of course he said well yes, this sort of thing doesn't happen overnight. Anyhow, long story short, he wants an xray, so I'm going up the one of the local units tomorrow to get that done. Unfortunately they'll all shut down over Easter so who knows how long it'll take to get the results back. In the meantime he's suggested that I continue with non weight bearing quad exercises but to return if the pain gets really bad before the results are through. So, it remains to be seen, but he's pretty much provisionally said yes, it's arthritis. Initially glad to have a name put to my problems, but feeling a bit down today, trying to persuade myself to wait until the results are through properly. How much information can I expect from the xrays?

    Sirius x
  • woodbon
    woodbon Member Posts: 4,969
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, You've been through the wars quite a bit! Sounds as if you've got a good GP to sort you out now. I expect he wants to see the full extent of the damage in the joint. X rays are limitted in what they show, but it should show up some of the damage to the bone, they don't show soft tissue injuries though, you need MRI for that, but it costs and they like to use x-ray first, I think. I'm not medical though, so its just a guess based on experience! :shock: :) Sue
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,053
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sirius
    Good/bad news eh?
    Well it iS a good start isn't it and the GP sounds pretty on the ball. Glad Xrays will be done soon and then you'll know more.
    Sorry though for the diagnosis. If you need support - you know where we are
    Look after yourself
    Toni xx
  • sirius
    sirius Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi everyone, thanks so much for your input.

    It occurred to me today while I was feeling sorry for myself, lol, that in my original post on here I said I'd been diagnosed with arthritis in various places. I guess on reflection that wasn't strictly true, but more the flippant attitude of the doc I saw last time who said, "based on your history, you have arthritis in your knee, hips, neck blah blah". Not a true diagnosis and I didn't really worry about it too much at the time, but I do apologise if it was misleading. Of course, now it really is affecting me and I'm beginning to wonder if Dr Flippant was actually correct in what he was saying. I know I'm getting ahead of myself and I need to take one step at a time (literally just now, lol) but I guess it's all suddenly just hitting me. I haven't told my OH yet as he's working away abroad, I think I'll wait till the xray results come through and see what the official word is.

    Thanks for your support everyone, it's appreciated.

    Sirius x

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