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387767 tn?1345875627

Knee problems

Hi, I am a 51 yr. old female, very active (or at least I used to be) but overweight with High blood pressure, etc.  I need to lose about 30 lbs.  The problem is I can't do as much exercise as I would like because of continual pain in my knees, mostly my right knee.  I used to do an hour of cardio and light weights 5 times a week.  Now because of knee pain I can only do 30 minutes cardio, either on a bike, water aerobics, or swimming with the light weights and stretching.

I've been to 3 doctors for my knees.  I got 3 different diagnosis.  I had an MRI on the right knee.  The first orthpedist said it was chrondromalacia, the second said it was illiotibial band tendonitis, and my current doctor said it's arthritis.  I have done physical therapy and all the stretches, use ice, rest, etc.  If I don't do too much walking or weight-bearing exercise, I can tolerate it.  If I sit around all day, I'm fine, but I can't do that, nor do I want to.  I would like to get back to my old life, or at least be able to walk for a distance without pain.  The pain goes down the outside of my knee, sometimes down my leg and shoots around the knee when it is bad.  

Is there any answer for me?  It seems the doctors are not very concerned, but I am.  My husband is retiring soon and we want to travel, which means sightseeing and walking.  Also, I am having a lot of trouble losing weight since I can't be as active and I need to do that for my heart health AND my knees, since the doctor said taking weight off would be a big help.  Thank you.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi Cindee,
How are you feeling?
I feel either it can be Osteoarthritis, Ligament damage, or Patello-femoral disorder.
Knee pain has many causes, including pathologic processes in the knee and disorders in distant locations with referral to the knee area.
Can you tell me when this pain is more? Do you experience any grinding, locking, catching, or giving way of the knee? When did your pain begin, what were you doing at the time, and what were the initial symptoms?
Grinding is characteristic of osteoarthritis; locking and catching are characteristic of meniscus injuries and osteochondritis dissecans (meniscus injuries are much more common than osteochondritis dissecans); and giving way is more characteristic of ligamentous injuries.
Are there any positions that make your knee more or less comfortable?
Have you tried anything to help the pain and, if yes, has that been successful? Have you ever had surgery on your knee?
Keep me informed.
387767 tn?1345875627
Thank you so much for replying so quickly.  You asked me more questions than any of the doctors have, LOL.  My knee does not give way, lock or catch.  I do get some grinding and popping, but not that often.  (I get that popping and cracking in a lot of my joints).  I have to mention that I do have arthritis in my thumbs and some of my fingers and in my neck.  So arthritis seems likely, but the doctors said from the MRI it didn't look too bad, or bad enough to cause the pain I get when I walk or exercise.

If I am lying down, it helps to put a small pillow under my knees so that they are slightly bent instead of straight out.  Ice helps a lot with the pain.  Also, I never have swelling or redness.  I just take tylenol (I can't take anti-inflammatories because of my high blood pressure).  Sometimes, though, if it's really bad I do take two advil and two tylenol together, which is helpful.  I never had surgery and none of the doctors think I am a candidate for that.  

I just went for blood tests to check for some sort of inflammation and to check that it's not Rheumatoid arthritis, which my sister has and my grandmother had.  This is only because I insisted on it.  These doctors, you have to push and push for answers!
Avatar universal
Hi Cindee,
How are you feeling?
I might have asked you more questions, but my only problem is that I can't do clinical examination.
If you have to point with one finger area of pain where it would be?
Your symptoms of knee not giving away or lock or catch suggests that ligament injury and meniscus injury are ruled out.
The other symptom also suggests that it might be osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis. It may occur in virtually any joint of the body. It has no cure and leads to pain and joint dysfunction. The end result is loss of articular cartilage with secondary bone changes, including osteophytes, subchondral sclerosis, and subchondral cysts.
The knee is the most commonly affected joint, followed by the hand and hip.
The diagnosis of osteoarthritis is not difficult when the disease is in the moderate or advanced stage.
Early arthritis can be confused with the following conditions, Tendinitis or bursitis, Stress fractures or Synovial proliferative disorders.
Rest, activity modification, weight loss, and NSAIDs are general measures for treatment.
Are you on physiotherapy? What physiotherapy are you on?
Keep me informed if you have any queries.
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