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Leg Pain
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Leg Pain

I was diagnosed with Osteo arthritis and my right  knee is bone on bone - however I seem to have severe leg problems even though my knee rarely hurts. Also my lower pain constantly hurts.  I can not walk a half block nor stand for more than 5 minutes, my legs burn and ache constantly and I have no leg strength.  No one else I know has these problems with the arthritis - aches and pains yes - but they can walk - I can barely walk and it hurts to do so.  No pain medications even ease the pain.they have done numerous xrays and tests with no other conclusions, but this is no way to live - it's not living. thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm sorry you're having so much trouble with your arthritis - I, too, have severe osteo arthritis in all my joints, but most severe in my knees, ankles and right shoulder (I've already had that shoulder replaced).

I do get the pain in my lower legs and the burning/aching feeling.  I believe, and so does my doctor (because they haven't determined anything else that is causing it) it's because, as a result of the arthritis, my gait has been involuntarily adjusted - you basically unconsiously change the way you're walking because of the pain/instability in your knee/s and that puts additional stress on other parts of your legs/hips/back, etc.

the lack of strength is also something I have.  My doctor explained it to me the reason that this happens is because your joints are bone on bone and it hurts to walk/move, your muscles actually work harder to do the same job they used to do very easily, so therefore they get tired and weak much easier and don't have the chance to recouperate.

Have you tried either cortisone injections in the knee or even the Synvisc or Euflexxa injections?  The cortisone might help reduce some of the inflammation and therefore, possibly reduce some of the pain.  The Synvisc or Euflexxa injections are injections of a naturally occuring substance that is found in our joints (hyleroinc acid I believe it's called) - it helps cushion the joint and therefore might help with the pain.  However, both of these types of injections are temporary helps, if they even work.  I've had both cortisone injections and the Euflexxa (I couldn't do Synvisc because it's an avian derivative and I'm allergic to feathers - the Euflexxa is the same type of medication but is made from non-avian things).  The cortisone helped me slightly for about a week - the Euflexxa I noticed absolutely no difference with.

Unfortunately, the only permanent help for osteo arthritis pain, especially when it's at the point of bone on bone, is joint replacement.  As I said, I've aleady had my right shoulder replaced and have been told that I definitely need to have both knees done, but my doctor and I are TRYING to postpone doing those as long as possible because I'm only 46 and because I'm considered a "younger" patient, I more than likely would have to have them redone at a later time.  So we're hoping to wait and do them later on when I have a better chance of the initial surgery being the only ones I'll need.

I agree that living in pain like this is no way to live.  Try to do as much as you can to alleviate some of your pain, including using aids such as a walker or cane to give you some additional support, resting with your legs elevated whenever posible (helps keep swelling down), ice or heat (whichever works best for you - ice will tend to reduce swelling better, but for me, I find that ice tends to make my pain worse, so I use heat more often).  Even possibly check with your doctor about getting some kind of brace/support that you could wear to give you more support/stability.  You very well may find that the better you're able to support your knee, the better your lower leg will feel also.

Best of luck and please keep us informed as to how you're doing.
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1271743_tn?1320896061
I found a cream that helps me called Anestol Pomad that is made by Sandoz.  It is 5% lidocaine and it works wonders for me...
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Avatar_f_tn
Can you get this cream OTC or do you need a script for it?  I'm all for trying something that might help!  Espeically if it doesn't involve having to take more pills!!  Where to do you buy it if it's OTC?
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Avatar_f_tn
thank you for all your information - sounds like we have both been given about the same answers - yes I've tried the injections with no help.  I am going to try and find the cream that skmedlin27703 suggested - because I have foudn that some topicals do help occasionally - at least they feel good for a while even if they don't help my length of time standing or walking....I hate to go the cane route - I've been putting that off - because it looks so old - but the canes that have the seats on them have certainly crossed my mind.  Even if it's just for the grocery store or outside events which I can't do and miss terribly.  THANKS!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
The cream that you mentioned I can not find out anything about it in any drugstore or on the Internet - are you in the USA?
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1271743_tn?1320896061
I found it online... it came from Turkey... I think the US only manufactures 4% and this one is 5%... The manufacturer is a US company Sandoz... so, I think you can only get it online... but it works!
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29837_tn?1414538248
I have both hips and in January, a left knee implant, and will have an ankle implant in January. I was bone on bone as well on my knee. Before surgery, I had to stop and sit in-between shaving! Now, I cut some palm branches off my palm tree yesterday at about one hour of standing and today washed and worked on my car at two hours of standing. NO knee pain whatsoever! This, after 6 months. The only caveat is the doctor said he does not want more than 23 degrees bending of the knee. Naturally, I cheat a little...

The only thing I experienced, is that of a total of 13 surgeries, (hips, back, knee), the knee replacement gave a new meaning to the word "pain". Be prepared if you have it replaced, that you should take your pain meds irregardless of your beliefs in them, because the in-house nurse told me the stress caused from pain can add to a longer length in healing.

If you get your knee replaced, you will have an ice wrap which is perpetuated by a flow of ice water through a pump system submerged in a cooler. This greatly reduces the swelling. Be prepared for some weeks of down time. In the end, you will smile widely with the pain gone...

Magnum
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Avatar_f_tn
Magnum - thank you so much for the information you gave.  I, too, am facing knee replacement surgery in both of my knees.  My surgeon and I are hoping to postpone as long as possible becuase I'm only 47 (considered "young" for this surgery even though I feel 100) so that I don't have to have them redone down the line.  However, my pain and lack of mobility is getting worse and worse each day so I'm definitely getting to the point where I'm about ready to say just do the surgery and if we have to redo it in say 10 years, then so be it - much better option that living in this pain for the next 10 years!!

I've already had my right shoulder replaced and I will tell you, I wish they had tiven me one of those ice wraps that you talked about for that!!  Trying to get an ice pack to stay put was miserable!  Even the large, tie-on ones they give you at the hospital didn't do much good.

I'm not really worried about the pain following surgery - I have several chronic pain issues, so I'm quite used to dealing with pain (unfortunately).  I know this pain will be different from what I experience on a daily basis, however, like with my shoulder surgery, I also know that that pain will get better each day.  That's what I kept telling myself after the shoulder surgery when the pain was absolutely HORRIBLE (first few days after surgery were teh worst)

Thanks again for your information - you've made me much more comfortable with the idea of getting my knees done SOON!!
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29837_tn?1414538248
Here’s a link to the Breg Polar Care 300 system I used. It was a life saver and greatly reduced swelling

http://www.breg.com/cold-therapy/polar-care-300.html

Here is what I went tnrough below. I wished someone would have given me a heads up as to what the surgery entailed. Happy to do it for you, a fellow sufferer...

- Surgery lasted one hour. Small 3" incision. Stayed in the hospital three days
- Wore compression stockings up to the thighs to prevent blood clotting
- Very painful. Was given a cooler with a motor that pumps ice water into a wrap that forms around the knee. Used it 2-3 times a day.
This was to keep bruising down. Had a lot of black and blue markings, especially on the left section of the leg below the knee
- In the hospital I was given (2) Lortab pain pills and 50mg. Demerol injections every 4 hrs.
- Was taken off the Demerol on the third day, was kept on the Lortab pills as well as Cumidin (from the beginning) to prevent blood clots. Was also given an anti- biotic drip for two days as well as bags of Saline water drips for two days.
- Woke up on the 7th day (Jan. 10th) after surgery with a lot of pain. Doubled up on the pain medications that morning. Nurse said to go to the emergency because it could be a blood clot. I went by ambulance. It was not a blood clot.
- January 13, 2010. Finally started urinating more regularly and the pain is becoming less. Was told to keep the knee brace on when I get up during the day and at night when sleeping. Was also told to keep the compression socks on both legs for 6 weeks.
- January 27, 2010. Starting to feel less pain. Started walking with crutches today. No more walker. Yesterday I stopped using the cooler ice system for the knee. Bladder still somehow sensitive when urinating, but it does not burn when I urinate.
- February 1, 2010. Pain is better and I’m taking pain pills every 8 hrs.
- February 4, 2010. Doctor said I can remove the long white post-op compression stocking and I don’t have to use the night leg brace.
- February 5, 2010. Did my first (2 hr.) entertainment party after surgery. Leg really swelled. (I’m an entertainer)
- February 16, 2010 Still on crutches but getting stronger every day. Physical Therapist still comes 3 times a week. The nurse and her assistant come twice a week. Now taking only 2 Oxycodone 7.5mg pain pills at night because the night time brings on the knee pain.
- March 01, 2010 Stopped taking the two 7.5mg Oxycodone and had withdrawals for four nights...
- March 27, 2010 Not much pain on my knee. I can stand for a long time now without pain in the knee
- Have gone to therapy for two weeks. Therapist said I probably need only three more session instead of the 6 weeks the doctor recommended. Knee is still clunking and will be for a months. My knee is now bending at 123 degrees, more than expected, but doctor does not want me to bend it more than 125 degrees. Complete recovery is predicted at one year...

I want to add that at this point (6 months post surgery) the pain went from 100% to 5%. I’ll take that, and I’m sure you will too...

Magnum
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29837_tn?1414538248
Here are complete instructions on how to use th Breg cooling system. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader (you can download it free). Good luck in your new, pain-free knee...

Magnum

http://www.breg.com/files/instructions/Cold%20Therapy/PC%20300/1.90044A.pdf
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