Little man called Arthur Itis in Right knee. Splints, anyone?

What a bummer. Arthritis in the old knee now. I was hoping it was just a strain (that was leaving it's fibro mark) or a bit of trapped cartilage, but due to an old operation on the a medial meniscus tear around 20 years ago, I am left with uneven gait and finally the old big "A" .

I have read about splints which "unload" the pressure of various bits of the knee (in my case the inside (medial) aspect. They are quite expensive, though, and will need a physio to prescribe me the right type, so before I shell out on anything, I thought I would see if any of you have used one, for how long, and if it helped.

I do a lot of walking at work (3 days a week) - in excess of a couple of miles on some days, and bend at the knees a fair bit when working at a patient's bedside (medical photographer), the only alternatives in our hospital will be to downgrade to an unqualified post with pay protection for a couple of years, which I do not want to do after 23 years of being where I am and enjoying it. Besides it is well known that if you allow yourself to slow down too much with fibro, it can get worse, so I don't want that either. My work is my exercise. I have just spent a couple of hours standing at the sink cleaning some old 7 inch sigles I have bought from a car boot to use in the 80s dicso I am setting up, so now the knee is throbbing a bit :-/ Of course standing at the record decks is going to be painfull if I don't sort it out.

It's a shame because I am managing the fibro really well at the moment. I have had a lot of stress over this last year, and have been in a bit of a state at times (we have just privately adopted my 13 year old niece and also brought my 85 year old father-in-law up from Swansea), and now I think I will get on top of it fatigue and stress wise, this happens!!

However this weather is finally getting better and I am out in the garden more - doesn't it half make you feel better when the sun shines! I have had a good dose of vit D thrown at me by the doctors, though, so hoping that will kick in soon :-).

It would be great to hear if anyone has had experience of these splints, as I certainly don't fancy the alternative knock-on effect of back trouble and false knees!

XHuggles XG

6 Replies

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  • Hi there I developed arthritis 5 years ago at 43 started in my ankle crept up to my knees . Then To my thumb joints and now my neck......

    I don't have the splints but I have specially moulded to fit insoles from orthotics to correct my ankles and my stance to try to even out my balance and help putting too much weight on any one ankle or knee... My rheumatologist referred me but I am sure your GP could if you felt they could be of any help and as they are free Would your physio prescibe the splints for free????

    Vg x

  • Hi VG. I too have the insoles and hopefully they will help, as I realised something was wring with the way I was walking a year ago when my knees started to hurt again, but it didn't get rid of the pain. Hopefully it will slow things down. I have hypermobile knees howevver.

    Hopefully if I play it right the physio might give me something, but they are a few hundred quid, so I do have some insurance (Westfield) which will account for some of the cost.

    Thanks for that though. Insoles have helped my feet, for definate.

    XG

  • I have quite severe arthritis in my knees, but it has responded very well to steroid injections into the joint space, which were not painful at all.

    I have also learned to be gentle with my joints. I walk a lot, which is good, but I avoid stairs whenever i can use a lift, and always sit down rather than stand to do jobs like ironing. It's amazing what you can do in this way if you put your thinking cap on - even in the work-place! I'm not too keen on splintage unless a joint is dangerously unstable, as it inevitably speeds up muscle wasting, and rarely reduces pain.

    I guess we all look at the prospect of knee replacement in the end, but I am quite philosophical about this, as they seem to be very successful nowadays.

    For the time being, my advice would be to try to nag your doc into doing some steroid injections, and to have a think about managing your working environment, so that you can take the strain off your knees - there's usually an adjustable stool available, so why stress your joints getting up and down at patient's bedsides? Don't forget the 'raise and lower' function on the bed, too - it's there to protect staff back and knees!

    I hope you manage to find a comfortable answer to your knee problems, as I have - I don't intend to have knee replacements until I'm well into my 70's thank you very much! Your job is a fascinating one, so don't give up without looking at all the alternatives. :)

    Best of luck,

    Moffy x

  • PS. I hate to raise this embarrassing subject - you don't mention your weight, but if you should happen to be carrying a few extra pounds, then lose them asap - that's a wonderful tonic for knee problems!

    If you are a 'skinny minnie', then apologies for mentioning the matter!

    Moffy x

  • Hello Glenys, I too have arthritis on both my knees and standing for long periods is difficult, just to say, That when out walking I rub in some ibrofen Gel to my knees and I use neophene knee supports, You can buy them online at the sport shops etc.

    Reasonable price too less than £10 the pair.....They give some knee support compression and warmth and you can wear them for most of the day ( might be useful at your work ) Although you would have to wear trousers, This may be a issue if you have to wear a skirt as part of your work uniform..

    This maybe a cheaper option and well worth trying before going for splints.

    Hope this might help you......best wishes...x

  • Hi Ladymoth.

    Yup I am a bit overweight, 5ft 1in and 12 half stone!! Loosing weight has been tricky as I still seem to have a low metabolism and a few years ago it took me a year to loose a stone on the slimfast diet (not put it back though yet which is good). This new diagnosis has given me some impetus to start again, and hubby is keeping me in check.

    I do take advantage of the beds, and usually the nurses are relieved when I ask for the bed up, as they sometimes think I can photograph everything from above, and often sacrifice themselves for me getting a good photo :-)

    I might give the neoprine ones a go, Security, as I used to have one a few years ago, then gave it to my father-in-law and regretted it. I did get a rash from the heat it generated tho, so may shop around for a skin friendly one.

    Ibuprofen has been a godsend and has helped keep the pain down whilst pounding the corridors, but I hate the idea of constant pain meds, as I have been getting raised liver enzymes recently, and my mum had PBC and died of liver failure.

    Anyhow, it helps to hear about other peoples experiences, thanks all :-)

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