21,344 members25,079 posts

painful knee

I had to stop Humira due to adverse reaction saw rheumy on 13th Jan as was prescribed Enbrel. My right knee was so painful I was given steroid injection to get me through until I could start Enbrel. It lasted about two weeks and then the pain came back, started Enbrel last week and I know I have only had 2 doses so far but my knee is agony. My question is how long does it normally take for Enbrel to start to work and when will I feel relief? Also what type of pain control do others take ? I also take mtx. Thank you for your answers in advance.

8 Replies

It depends on what's causing your knee pain. Have they xrayed it? Is it RA or OA?

I've had horrible knee pain for a long time and eventually went to see rheumy and a surgeon about it. Its OA erosion and the only thing that can be done was a knee replacement. Providing you have a good surgeon and they give you good follow up - physio is so important, it could make a big difference. I've posted a couple of times about the op and I'm waiting for number two.

The Drs said that biologics or dmards could do nothing for the OA in my knee although I'm sure that methotrexate held it together for a while.

1 like

I'm so sorry your are in such pain with your knee. If it is swollen and hot, treat it with frozen peas with a tea towel next to your skin. The aim is to lower the inflammation so the least amount of damage is done to the joint.

When my knee was at its worst I used a tens machine, which gave me a short period of pain relief. Rest your knee as much as you can by not weight bearing except when you need to. Whilst sitting down excerise the knee to keep your leg muscles strong, this is important as strong muscles help stabilise the knee joint.

With regards the pain relief medication go see your G.P and see which level/strength they think you need. A none steroidal anti inflammatory drug may be able to be added to your treatment.

When I started Embrel I noticed a difference within two weeks. The most noticeable difference was my fatigue level improved. I take Methotrexate also.

I do hope your pain and any swelling decreases very soon. If you are anything like me ie.,, stubborn, you will be resisting using a walking stick, but they can help, just a suggestion.

The hardest thing to do is rest...I was my own worst enemy and ended up in agony too. The knee being such a large joint when it is inflamed can make you feel quite poorly. So be kind to yourself and with a lot of patience you will return back to how you were. Sending lots of sympathy and hugs for a swift recovery.x

1 like

Thank you Cathie for your reply, no I have not had it xrayed and I wish you luck with your next knee op and its as successful as the last.


Thank you, I to have terrible fatigue and I do try to rest as much as possible, but its not always easy. My knee is swollen and its going up and down stairs that seems to be the hardest. Its good to know that enbrel worked for you in two weeks.

1 like

Great advice from the above. Hope it improves soon X


Did you have a general (usually in bum) steroid injection or into the joint? You may be able to have the opposite to what you had if it is really causing problems as usually Enbrel takes longer to work (I was on it many years ago and cannot remember but it did give me 7 years before failing). Ice or heat (not if joint is hot), elevate and rest. Have you been prescribed anti-inflammatories. May be worth speaking to your rheumy nurse for advice. Farm


Hi Sally I am on the same meds as you mtx and Embrel the Embrel started to work quite quickly around 6 weeks and is the best thing I had. however my left knee continued to hurt. I am having physio and injection into joint if it doesn't get better. Unfortunately I have had a few bad infections so had to stop embrel but hoping to start again soon. I take cocodamol for pain, I hope it helps you soon Sally, good luck to you xx


When I first started with rheumatoid disease and my disease was not under control I had a lot of knee pain and swelling. Quickest relief was to have the fluid drained from my knee and then steroid injected. Not as painful a procedure as it sounds. This provided relief for a number of months and got me walking reasonably well again. I had this done 3 or 4 times in the early days. Now my inflammation is mostly under control with a combination of enbrel, methotrexate and anti inflammatories I have not needed steroids or fluid drained since.

It is important to maintain muscle strength in your legs to protect the knee joints so keep doing your exercises and combine with resting and ice packs.

hopefully your drug regime will kick in soon and the inflammation and pain will reduce.

All the best



You may also like...