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aspirated knee

i have had ra for two and half years, i test negative to the rheumatoid factor, although doc says i do have ra.. iam on methetrexate, and tnf humaira, it hasnt helped alot, my knees sweel up about every 8 weeks, needing to get them aspirated, and steriod injected into. With not being able to have a steriod everytime i get them drained, r nurse says its not worth draining the knee, so i have to suffer pain and not being able to get around properly, until the time comes to have another stereiod. Doc did mention one time i might need the knee looked at the orthepdcs. i think there is some kind of damage in the knee, which is causing the swelling in the knee, Has anyone had this happen to them, if so what have you done?? sometimes when i ring the rheumt helpline the nurses arnt that helpfull, and say i have to go to my gp, and get refered.

14 Replies

Hi Gallini

My knees were awful before I went on humira 5 yrs ago. I had far too many steroid injections to count! I was waiting for a replacement, my right knee was a 9, 10 being the worst & the left knee was also bad.

My specialist always said there are no rules for the amount of injections per joint with RA.

I recently had to stop humira for a while & now need my right knee doing asap :( Until now I was off the steroid injections for over 18 months. I believe this was due to the humira & a really strict diet together!

Humira was my 3rd tnf, the first two not working, have you tried any others?

I now have a rebounder & am able to do that. Take a look at my blog, Bounce, bounce, bounce! I really think it helps. However I would be careful during a bad flare.

Hope this helps :)


Hi Tiasteph, you sound like you been through a really tough time, strange about doc saying no rules for injections. I tried enbrel, but didnt do a thing for me, iam not so sure about the humaira now. I do hope thought that they do work and help me, as i dont reallly think i could go through with a knee replacement. coward arnt i?? friend of mine has suggested i take serraptase, which is a natural, from the silk worm, that is suppose to eat away at inflammation. worth a try you think\?



Hi Julie -

I take serra peptase and it does wonders for the inflammation - well I should say I am convinced it is helping me. When I thought I could do without it and left it off for few days the old familiar RA feeling came back - especially in the knees. So I keep to it now. I think it's worth trying anything to help your body help itself.

Julie xx


Hello Julie, good to hear your successful on serrapeptase, are you on any medication while taking it?

Julie x


Oh yes, it does not intereact with anything. I am on 20mg MTX and Folic acid, I take other meds for other conditions too, all safe.


i did ask at the hospital, the r nurses, they advised me not to take it. Do you think they are just being cautious??


Yes possibly did they tell you why? Do they know why? There is a website on which you list your meds and it will tell you if anything clashes. Although having said that it knows nothing of the serra peptase. Thing is. it is a naturally occurring enzyme. It's not affected my meds, I have felt better on it, but then we are all different, because some of us feel better on one drug than another. But it is not a toxic chemical, and does not interfere with the DMARDS


Hi Julie

I'm all for anything natural. Had RA for 13 yrs so tried a lot & still willing to try anything else. I think it's important to be positive & have hope!

I was scared of knee replacement too but had had enough! Apparently at 40 I was considered too young for it. Anyway I was saved by the Humira, well for now at least.

Am going to google serraptase right now. What's your diet like?



I've just googles the serrapaste also, think I'll give it a go :) did it take a while to nitce a difference Julie?

Steph, can I be cheeky and ask for some diet tips for RA? I have read books ect but I start to get bamboozled and find there can be a lot of contradictions.

A few 'top tips' maybe? (I'll be really really cheeky now but i'm sure others would appreciate it but could I suggest a blog from you?)

So far, I have cut out red meat, always try and get organic and watch out for anything high in saturates, low salt ect....

Gallini, sorry about your knees, when I was at my worst and knees were bad, that was so hard but thankfully a steroid injection seemed to sort it out for me, of all the joints I found knees were the hardest to cope with :(


Diet Blog done…hope it helps, happy to a more & some recipes if liked but am off to bed now x


I'd say it was about 10 days ish. You take a high dose for a little while and then drop it down to a maintenance dose. It might seem expensive to buy but if you take the cost over the time you take it it is well worth it. Along with the diet, I am sure it helps me.

Julie x


gallini, can't give you practical help this is all new to me but just wanted to offer my support and wish you well.

A blog on diet advice would be good


Hi yes they wont consider Joint replacements till well over 40 because a the life of a replacement joint is 10 -15 years.. so if you do the maths at say 40 equals up to three / joint replacements in a life time!!. doesnt sound a lot but all surgery carries risk.. not least infection risk.. escpecially once you get to over 70-75!.. think the cost of each replacement to nhs is also is £??,ooo pounds say about £30k and they are staying off/ putting off joint replacements to save money!! the old money chestnut again.. and that doesnt help any one with bad knees!!


I've had Rhumatoid, osteo arthritus and fibramialgia for 5 years plus now.

May 7th I had a total knee and for the first time in years I am in no pain.

It's work and lots of physio, but it changes your life. As for injections and draining, they both DO help. Steroid injections after draining in my case helped alot. I take methatrixate weekly, folic acid, and sulfasalazine and peracetamole with dihydracodine 2 x day but can take more pain relief if I need it and omeprasole 2 s day to protect my stomach.

This is a hard disease,and diet, and persistance does help along with a good consultant and team that will listen.

Don't be affraid of the surgery, and don't be affraid to ask for a different direction in medication or change consultants or a doctor that wants to listen.

Good luck, Pam


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