Lyme Disease Community
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5792451 tn?1390934690

Knee stiffness and swelling

I'm having a new weird problem! Over the past month or two I've noticed one of my knees is acting up. When it started I didn't pay too much attention to it since there's not enough time in the day to focus on every odd pain in my body, but it's progressing so quickly that I'm getting cornered.

At first it was just some stiffness and discomfort late in the evening, but now I'm lucky if I can make it to lunch without my right knee (and now even my ankle) locking up and swelling so badly that I have to take my pants off!

I've been trying to plan my entire day within the morning because I'm pretty much crippled after noon. I've been taking the maximum amount of ibuprofen every day, keeping ice on it as much as possible and keeping it elevated the majority of the day. Nothing seems to be helping and I can't keep laying in bed all day. I have 4 young children who depend on me, and yet I'm depending on MY parents to take care of all of us.

My LLMD doesn't seem to understand that I've been doing the Advil/ice/rest routine around the clock for two weeks now and if anything it's getting worse. I'm seriously considering getting a wheelchair at this point, which makes me cringe to think about at 26 years old... But I don't know what else to do!

When should I start considering a second opinion? I honestly think I would prefer the wheelchair since I've never had good luck with other doctors taking me seriously, but I can't shake the feeling that this issue is different :-/
14 Responses
1763947 tn?1334055319
So sorry about your problem. The first advice I would say is you should be taking magnesium. I take a lot on the Dr Cowden Protocols but many protocols have magnesium.

You could also bathe in Epsom salts bath. That is great for muscle symptoms. It is a common problem in Lyme but if all else fails you could check with your doctor.

Feel better.
Avatar universal
That's exactly how my Lyme started out.  Are you on antibiotics?  I would have loved to take an Epsom salt bath, but I couldn't get into a tub with my knee.  Started with one and then spread to both.  Hope you start feeling better.
How did you treat your Lyme Knee issues.  Did they completely heal?
7983189 tn?1395976232
You should seriously try to find an LLMD that knows a good course of antibiotics for you. Otherwise, you're only treating the symptoms, which will probably weaken your whole system and only make you worse. Ask them to find a combo of antibiotics that will target spirochetes in the joints, and try to limit the pain and sleep meds as much as possible. I know it's tough, I have a lot of trouble sleeping myself, as well as migrating pains everywhere, which seem to be at their worst when my left knee or neck gets sore.
5792451 tn?1390934690
I'm only on amoxicillin right now. I've tried doxy and Zithromax but I had bad reactions (not just herxing) to both. I assume he's going to try a new one next time, but for now I'm doing what I can.

I've been taking magnesium for the past 6 months and I do detox baths every chance I get. I went to my pcp but he wasn't helpful.

Pipergirl, did you ever find a solution to your knee pain?
7983189 tn?1395976232
You should find an LLMD. Sometimes they are listed as Integrative Medicine or Naturopaths. They should be able to find a better combo of ABX for you, but sometimes they cannot take insurance because they like to keep a low profile. Remember, this is a highly politicized illness, still commonly misunderstood. There's no good medical consensus on proper treatment other than the original 4-6 wks of ABX, so insurance companies can dispute further treatments. What they seem oblivious to, is that they cannot dispute the possible eventual diagnoses and more expensive treatments of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, POTS, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimers, bipolar, and all the pain meds and sleeping aids you'll need if you don't find a good way to send this thing into a good remission. Just do some research on everything Vietnam war vets went through trying to get help for dealing with the effects AGENT ORANGE had on them, and you'll realize what a misunderstanding of the potential an illness can have on those suffering from it.
Avatar universal
The solution to my knee pain (which has changed from pain to stiffness) was 14 months of antibiotics plus herbal supplements from my LLMD.  I doubt I'll ever be as active as I was before the onset of Lymes, but I'm grateful the worst seems to be over.  Now if only I could kick-start my energy levels, I'd be in great shape.
Avatar universal
And Megan (and others) - how in the world can you get in and out of a tub when your knees won't bend or support you?  
Avatar universal
"how in the world can you get in and out of a tub when your knees won't bend or support you? "

The answer? You can't. I can only take showers now but I would love to soak in a tub with Epsom salts.
5792451 tn?1390934690
I've got one leg that works
5792451 tn?1390934690
I don't know what happened to the rest on my post, but I also said that I've eliminated carbs from my diet over the past week and it does seem to help with fluid retention and swelling.

The one leg comment was in regards to how I get in my bathtub lol
7983189 tn?1395976232
Low carb or no carb diets help the inflammation a lot, as well as slowing down the reproduction and motility of spirochetes, whose favorite fuels are sugars/carbs. You should ask your doc about trying an herbal protocol, such as Cowden, Buhner, or Byron White. Try to lay low on the dairy as well, and stay away from high fructose corn syrup.
Avatar universal
I also recommend going gluten free and dairy free.  Dairy is probably the biggest trigger of inflammation in the gut, and you need to reduce inflammation.  Look up detoxing and see if you can find some supplements or foods that you can take/eat to help your body detox.  You might be surprised and how much they can help.  It can take days or up to a month to notice a difference.

Amoxicillin is pretty good for early stage Lyme, but you'll need another drug to go with it, or a more powerful drug at some point.
Avatar universal
One  more thought on your Advil...  taking the max dose for an extended time can do liver damage quicker than you'd think, especially if your liver is stressed out from Lyme and various medications.  If you're up to the max dose and you're still in a lot of pain, it sounds like it's not working anyway.

I personally would stop taking the Advil and try other non-harmful remedies, such as hot or cold packs and herbal anti-inflammatories.  The last thing you want to do is overstress your liver when you want it to be doing a good job of detoxing your body.

To help reduce my inflammation, I take Meriva Curcumin, Omega 3, Arginine, and the building blocks of glutathione - N-AC & Alpha Lipoic Acid. I'm even on 2 anti-histamines to reduce inflammation in those particular pathways. Every bit helps.

5792451 tn?1390934690
I thought ibuprofen was metabolized by the kidneys? I'm doing the hot/cold packs, but my LLMD is iffy about herbal remedies, he said it's dangerous to take too many non-FDA approved supplements since there's no way to know if there's an interaction with other meds.
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