When I was 17 I tore my MCL playing softball. My parents elected to have my entire leg caste for 6weeks rather than surgery. In the last two months, I began having pain on the inside of my knee that is tender to the touch. Even when I palpate the bone it hurts. My doctor sent me for an X-ray and it reveal mild osteoarthritis. Well, in the last week, the are between my patella and thigh began to hurt badly, along the outside of my knee hurts all the way up into my thigh, on the inside the tenderness has progressed, also on the inside of my knee midway up my inner thigh I have a severe line of pain that I can also palpate. My knee and thigh are noticeably larger than the other other one. I am in so much pain. A few minutes ago, I laid on my left side and proceeded to bend my right knee and the clicking and popping was very audible and painful.
I know that swelling and pain accompanies osteoarthritis, but the doctor said that it was mild and that I can continue to exercise (Cycling). It does not matter if I am standing, sitting, walking, or lying down, I am in pain constantly for the last week. I am wondering if I have re-injured my knee or is this how mild osteoarthritis feels?
Everyone's tolerance for pain is different, but it sounds like it's more than "mild" to me. In OA, the cushion of cartilage has worn away and the bone is grinding on bone. I don't care if it looks mild on an x-ray - bone on bone hurts!
Another thing that happens is that when a knee is painful, the way you walk changes which puts stress on other joints, muscles and tendons, which causes the pain to seem to spread. You are also probably tensing muscles and tendons around the sore joint in an unconscious effort to protect it. After a while they're naturally going to get tired and sore - even inflamed and swollen, which could account for the difference in size. You might even have bits of cartilage floating around in there.
Exercise will help, just not jarring exercise like running. Cycling is a good, non-weight-bearing exercise to keep the supporting structures around the joint strong. You need to contact the doctor and talk about pain management options. A knee brace, compression wraps, ice packs, pain patches, physical therapy, Synvisc injections, etc. At your age it wouldn't surprise me if the doctor is reluctant to consider a partial knee replacement (I had my first hip done at 37), but it's best to exhaust every other avenue of pain management first.
Thank you very much!!!! This is all new to me. Fortunately, I took the initiative a few days ago to order a specialized compression brace that lacks neoprene. Hopefully, it will help. I will follow your advice and exhaust every option.
OA pain is a real nuisance, especially considering how far spread the condition is. 46 million people in the U.S. suffer from this debilitating disease, making it the #1 disability in the U.S. today. About 1 in 5 people suffer from this to put it in perspective.
The Arthritis Foundation and the Ad Council have teamed up to spread awareness about this condition to it's sufferers, and to educate them that exercise is the best treatment for OA. I work for a marketing company that is helping the Arthritis Foundation and the Ad Council spread the aforementioned information so that people worldwide can reduce their suffering.
The pain you are experience may be able to be managed through increased activity. Check out some of the PSA's for the campaign I mentioned above here: http://youcastcorp.com/c/90/go/index.php?r=0
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