Alternatives to knee surgery: Hi, I just... - Stand Up 2 OA

Stand Up 2 OA

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Alternatives to knee surgery


Hi, I just joined-already belong to 3 communities which I have gotten much help from(A-Fib/RLS/ThyroidUK). I have had knee probs for years,use a cane, and sometimes a walker, and pain has gotten worse over the past year. I saw an orthopedic doc about 2 months ago with the idea of asking if I would be a candidate for the gel they inject in knees to solve the bone-on-bone problem many older people have. Well, the news was: I'm beyond that and knee replacements were recommended. I would like to save that as a last resort and have heard about a treatment involving injections called "Prolozone Therapy".My research turned up very little and am interested if anyone has info on this treatment. Thanks in advance. I was in the process of getting off anticoagulants and the surgeon said he preferred to wait until I was completely off. I agreed with this thinking. I am now off coumadin and it's time to deal with the knees. My knee pain is really limiting my ability to get around independently and I want to do everything I can to remain independent, stay out of assisted living and nursing homes. I'm a retired nurse in the US and I have very few good things to say about these institutions. Just my opinion and not a way of life that I want for myself. I may decide surgery is the best thing down the road but I want to try other things first. irina1975

11 Replies

Good Morning irina1975...I, too, just joined this group as I also have knee pain because of arthritis in both knees. Even tho I know several family members as well as friends that have had successful knee replacement, it just doesn't seem right for me at this time. I saw an advertisement for "cold laser therapy" from a Chiropractor and I went for a consultation and he did x-rays and then I began my treatments for several months and I must admit it did help a lot! The treatment usually lasted about 15 minutes and was painless...all I felt was kind of a tingling (similar to TENS). He also used another treatment at the same time where small patches were attached to my knees and it sent some kind of impulse into the knee joint...sorry I do not remember what that treatment was called. These treatments were very expensive (by my standards anyway)...each about $50 each treatment. I went three times a week for 5 or 6 weeks and then twice a week for 4 weeks. The knee pain did stop almost completely but eventually slowly returned after I finished treatments. Now, I am dealing also with the quite severe restless legs and sometimes I wonder if the knee pain aggravates the restless legs or the other way around! At this writing, I am weaning off of Pramipexole and am only now taking 1/4 tablet along with Gabapentin 600 mg and my knee pain is pretty much gone! I will keep posting both here about knee pain as well as under the restless leg group! Good Luck...I know you are also suffering from both pains! Linda

Hidden in reply to lbrosa

Hi lbrosa. Thanks for the info esp re the cold laser therapy; had never heard of that. My doc seemed to skip over other treatments and headed straight for the knee replacement solution. I will try many things before considering that. Knee surg is still 'iffy' IMO and can go either way. If successful it's wonderful, but if not you can be much worse off than before. I worked in the O.R. for years and knees for some reason can be tricky. Also I believe our restless legs problems adds complications and I have heard some pts report their rls was worse after the surg. So I will move slow re therapies and try nutrition, and some exercises to strengthen ligaments, etc. There are many things we can do to lessen knee pain but like other illnesses because they are not big money makers we are left on our own to discover them. Take care. irina1975

lbrosa in reply to Hidden

Yes irina1975 I agree with your views on knee replacement. My sister-in-laws both had both knees done and all has been well as well as my sister had one knee done a couple of years ago and she has less pain and much better mobility however, she says she does not believe she would ever have the second knee replaced! My neighbor had hers done also a couple of years ago and she had already had one knee done 10 years ago...she reports that she still has occasional pain in both knees. The knee she had done recently healed quickly but my husband and I both notice that when she walks her leg and foot appear to point outward (we were in a 2nd floor apt. and it was very noticeable when she walked across the parking lot to her car). I mentioned it to her and she said she had mentioned it to her surgeon shortly afterward and he just shrugged his shoulders! My Ortho Dr. said there was no question that replacement was the only alternative, but it has never seemed like any Dr. REALLY agreed with the fact that they were that, I am holding off! Since the diagnosis by my Ortho Dr. I have had periods of as long as a week to 10 days without any pain or difficulty walking and logic seems if they were bone on bone that would not be possible. I guess I am just really stubborn or "wishful thinking"!!!!

Hidden in reply to lbrosa

Hi lbrosa, An update. Earlier this week I was speaking with another resident in my senior bldg. Long story short we have several docs in common re other illnesses. Anyway, he has a different doc in the same office as the one I saw and is very pleased with his care. We talked a long while and I am going to make an appt with his doc. The dr I saw for my consult is,I'm sure, very qualified but it was not a good match. So I will try my friend's doc and see if things go better.

Hidden in reply to Hidden

In reply to lbrosa Hi Linda. An update, I have an appt with the new ortho Apr 11. Also my friend was fitted with a knee brace that in the last week he says has greatly enhanced his ability to walk ( with walker) without pain. He knows it's temporary but I believe we can only take it one pain-free day at a time. This brace seems much more effective than just buying an OTC knee brace at the drug store. Am excited about my upcoming appt. Will share what happens. My neighbor is like me: Doesn't believe docs are God or follow their advice blindly and without good explanations.

OrthoRN87Ambassador in reply to lbrosa

You might consider asking questions to your Ortho MD:1. Bone on Bone- severe Osteoarthritis. Am I beyond any conservative treatments? 2. If I'm not ready for surgery, what can I do to reduce pain and strengthen leg?

If you are above your ideal body weight, losing 10lbs can reduce pain by 50% just by relieving pressure on your joints.

Hidden in reply to OrthoRN87

Thanks, good advice which I shall follow. And, yes, I have an extra 10 'post Christmas season' pounds that should go. Take care. irina

Andaleeb75 in reply to lbrosa

Dear Suffering Sisters, I appreciate your inquiries, research, introspection and especially your trust in your self-knowledge. Your mindset and attitude have a huge impact on your success and adjustment to any treatment including surgery. And I have come to believe nothing is perfect but the Lord.

lbrosa in reply to Andaleeb75


Hidden in reply to Andaleeb75

Amen to that Andaleeb 75!

Hi irina1975...Finding a doctor that is "a good match" and that you feel very comfortable with and trust is, I feel, VERY IMPORTANT! I just switched Neurologist and had my first appointment with him yesterday and WOW...what a difference from the other two I had seen over the last few years! This is the first doctor I have ever had that even used or acted like he knew what the term "augmentation" means to those of us suffering with RLS. We talked about different meds for RLS and I told him I was weaning myself off Pramipexole...he agreed that was the right thing to do. I asked him about Low Dose Naltrexone and he said he had prescribed it for some of his patients with MS and Fibromyalgia with good results but had never thought of it for RLS but was willing to write me a prescription for it if I wanted to give it a try! So, I got a script for LDN...found a pharmacy that could do compounding of drugs and should have it in a couple of days. My insurance will not pay for it but it will be $45 a month which is not too bad IF it does the job! I will update after using it for a while. Good luck with you new doc...I hope you are as pleased with him as I was yesterday with mine...he made me feel very comfortable and "hopeful"...which is a feeling I have not had with a doctor lately!

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