A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I went to see my surgeon about my knee...

I hate rehashing this because it is not fun, so you are getting the quick and dirty version. No edits. So sorry about typos and awkward sentences!

I went to see my surgeon at OIP Monday afternoon. It actually wasn't busy and I was all signed in and had my X-Ray done in about 15 minutes! 10 minutes after that, I saw my doctor. (Oh, my BP was 145/70. DOCTORS STRESS ME OUT!!!!

Armed with my clipboard! I mean BUSINESS!

I explained all of my symptoms to him. I told him I was lost. Walking hurts. I have lifted lower body maybe 5 times since surgery. I've rested. Stretched. Did mobility work. EVERYTHING. I don't know where else to turn.

He explained that I have mild arthritis in my knee. I knew this from when I saw him last year. I just didn't realize this could be causing problems. There was some cartilage gone so there is some grinding. Arthritis apparently zaps the joint of much of the lubricant it needs to glide. So not only is there the grinding but the lubricant is gone to make the grinding less.... grind-y. (My words, not his.) 

Yes, I started crying after he said that. I was thinking to myself, it hurts to walk and drive!!!! SO I MAY NEVER BE ABLE TO WALK OR DRIVE WITHOUT PAIN? THIS IS RIDICULOUS. I AM 32 YEARS OLD.

He recommendation was to first get an MRI and compare it to the MRI from before surgery and see if the arthritis is about the same. (I imagine it is. I SEVERELY altered my workouts since then. But hell, what do I know? I am sure it could be worse.)

Then, he wanted me to research two types of injected lubricants (NOT STEROIDS) that could lubricate my knee and ease the pain. The first kind he suggested is synthetic. It is from chickens. It works within a couple days to a week and should last about 6 months. It is covered by insurance. The second kind he suggested is called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and is from MY OWN BLOOD. It has been shown to work even better than the synthetic kind he suggested, and has been shown to work in people with mild to moderate arthritis. I asked "Has it ever NOT worked for someone?" and he said it doesn't work for severe arthritis. It is NOT covered by insurance and is between $500-$600 dollars. I am going to research it and if it really does look like it will work for me, I am going to do it. Hell, if it gets me 6 months without pain, that is worth it, right!? I love walking, running, hiking, lifting... I NEED TO BE ABLE TO DO THOSE THINGS. I am only 32. He urged me to read about it, but I point blank said, "So Kobe would get the PRP?" and he laughed and said, "Yes, Kobe would probably get the PRP."

From the brochure. about the synthetic stuff... But it explains well about the importance of lubrication at the joints!

So then after an MRI and possible injection of lubricant, he recommended a therapy directed strength program that will help my knee. I told him the Catch-22 in that I know I need strong hips/glutes/hammys/quads to keep my knees healthy, but all of that stuff hurts! How do I strengthen my body when everything hurts? He said that's why I need a therapist that will be able to help me do the RIGHT exercises that won't harm my knee.

I told him I have had terrible PTs in the past. He told me he would find me THE THERAPIST that specializes in sports medicine. Someone who will contact HIM if they have any questions regarding my care. "THAT'S the type of therapist I need!" I said.

So the plan is: 1. MRI, 2. Possible injection of lubricant. 3. Therapy directed strength program. 4. Be awesome.

I also asked him if I should wear my knee brace while I am on vacation because I am running in Colorado. Will the knee brace help make the arthritis not get worse? He said I am not going to make it worse by running on it. Wearing the knee brace will help it not be as irritated, though. So my knee brace is coming on vacation with me!!!

He talked to me for about 20 minutes, so I thanked him profusely for spending so much time with me. He sure earned his money today.

While I am excited that I seem to have a plan of action, I am not thrilled that at the age of 32 I have arthritis in my knee that seems to be causing me problems!

Now I am off to research arthritis and PRP- Plasma Rich Platelets.

I seriously did not proofread this post at all. My brain is mush. I apologize!!!

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  1. Okay I am glad you have some answers and a plan! I know you are not asking advice but I was thinking "what would I do?" to many of the scenarios above. I would definitely take one of the injections because like you I would be shocked that at 33 (me) I have to give up activitiy! That stuff is expensive, especially if it becomes a frequent treatment. I would totally do the chicken stuff. Keep us updated!

  2. Hey Meg! Thanks for giving us the update. I am sure you are just in a state of shock at hearing arthritis at age 32. I know that is how I felt when they told me I have arthritis in my back. Just stunned. I am glad you have a plan of action and your doctor's support. And it is nice to hear you can run on it w/ your brace. I know how much you need to run in Colorado and we are ready for ya, girl. Hang in there, friend.

  3. I am with Heather, I am glad you have some answers and a plan. Are you still going to look for a second opinion? It sounds like your doctor gave you a really thorough explanation yesterday that makes a lot of sense given your symptoms. I also would go with the chicken lubricant the first time since it is covered by insurance and sounds like it should provide you with a lot of relief even if it doesn't work quite as well as the other option. If it does work well you can try the other option when you need another injection. That being said, if Tiger Woods did it, then it probably is the very best option. Tough decision but at least you have some options and a plan!

  4. I definitely agree with others that its good that you have answers and a plan. Not sure what I would do if I were you. Thinking about how much I have paid in copays over the past year the PRP doesn't sound that bad if it works. I'm sure you will figure out what makes the most sense for you!

  5. So glad to hear you have some next steps. Focus on the research and do what's best for you. I'm sure every situation is a bit different. Keep us updated.

  6. I'm glad you finally have some answers and a couple of options to choose from. I can't imagine how frustrating this is for you. If it's not for sure that the PRP would work then I would definitely start with the chicken lubricant. Are you still going to get a second opinion? I'll be thinking of you and please keep us updated!

  7. This is a lot to think about, but I'm glad you have a plan of action and options. I never even thought about your knee hurting while driving...mine does that too sometimes. Arthritis runs in my family. Now I'm paranoid!

    I think often the synthetic options are even better than more natural options because they can be medically manipulated more, if that makes sense. If it were me, I'd try the free option first and if it didn't work, then try the other. I hope the physical therapist your doctor recommends is THE one!

  8. I'll just echo everyone else and say I'm glad you have some answers now and a game plan. I know the diagnosis stung and was not what you wanted to hear, but I hope it's at least better than not knowing.

    I would try the "chicken" lubricant first, since it's covered by insurance and will still last a good 6 months. As for the PRP one, it sucks that it's not covered by insurance but if Tiger Woods and pro football players use it that would give me a lot of confidence, personally! Are you still getting a 2nd opinion?

    Good luck! Keep fighting the good fight!

  9. Megan its Vicki who reads everyday and does not comment. Go for the chicken shot I had it and it worked. Hope you get some relief.

    1. Thank you so much for the rec. :) And thanks for reading, Vick!

  10. I am so glad you got some answers, but am so sorry to hear that you have some arthritis that is likely causing the pain. I am a Nurse Practitioner, and I have given several Supartz injections to many of my patients. Nearly everyone was happy with the results. Those with mild arthritis received the greatest benefits. As long as you are not allergic to bird products (since the product is made from sodium hyaluronate that is extracted from rooster combs), then I would recommend it. Again, so sorry...but there is hope!

  11. Meg this was SO helpful! I see a lot of similarities in what I am going through too. I also have arthritis in my knees. I can't wait to talk about this more this summer! -M

  12. It must be so nice to finally have some sort of answers and a plan. I am so sorry to hear that you have arthritis in your knee. That sounds terrible! I really hope the injections help. Taking away the essential part of "runner" from my personality would kill me. I've been majorly cutting back on running due to my hip injury and I've been going through a sense of "Who even am I?!" And I'm still running over 20 miles a week and lifting lower body. I can't imagine what you are going through.

  13. Well, you have to be careful now. Arthritis is a bother; if left unabated, it can pin you down and hurt when you least expect it. But you've pretty much taken care of that with the knee brace, as well as some added treatments. I hope that you keep up with those treatments, so that you can avoid sudden flare-ups in the future. Take care!

    Agnes Lawson @ Pain Relief Experts