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jasdip1

I'm dreading the thoughts and it hasn't even happened yet

Jasdip
7 days ago
last modified: 7 days ago

I've been diagnosed with osteo-arthritis in my knees (moderate). The right knee is far more painful, never when I walk, but when I go up and down the stairs to my apt, it's excruciating. Getting up from a seated position and heaven forbid if I have to kneel on the floor.

A friend recently went to a pain clinic, she hurt her knee some time ago and it often hurts to walk. A knee brace helps. He said he can inject her knee and it will relieve the pain for 7-8 months and is covered by our provincial medical plan. Other treatments were injections that had to be done every couple or 3 months that she'd have to pay out of pocket.

Someone has to take her as she won't be able to drive home and has to ice her knee that day.

She mentioned my knee and he said he can definitely help me as well, so I have my doctor requesting a referral for me to see him. There's a wait period.......a year and a half, but my friend got in on a cancellation. I'm hoping that I can see him sooner as well.

I'm absolutely dreading the needles, it takes about 20 minutes, at least 2 needles, maybe 4?

Has anyone had knee injections?

Comments (41)

  • clt3
    7 days ago

    I have not had this, but I also hate needles. The one done every few months is probably cortisone. The other is probably Synovisc

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  • nickel_kg
    7 days ago

    Not in my knee, but once I had an injection in my shoulder. It's scarier looking than it really felt. I wonder if doctors could give you valium or something like that, to relax you beforehand.

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    7 days ago

    (((hugs)))

  • arcy_gw
    7 days ago

    A year and a half is too long! Call an orthopedic group they will get you in sooner. The injection is no doubt a steroid, probably cortisone. I had my hip injected a year ago October, under x-ray and yes they do give you a bit of something to relax you. When it works it can be great but it unfortunately it is often not the miracle cure you want. With arthritis it is only a matter of time before the knee will have to be replaced. Things can change quickly. When I got my shot the doctor thought I was a great candidate. A year later he called it End Stage Degenerative Arthrits and scheduled me for a replacement ASAP. This is not a self diagnosis situation. Find an Orthopedic doctor!!

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    7 days ago

    Not knee, but I had lidocaine injected into my hip as a diagnostic and it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I'd feared.


    I know it's gross, but if I had knee pain, I'd definitely consider checking out leeches...

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    7 days ago

    Remember, fear is not fact, and most of what we worry about never happens.

  • sweet_betsy No AL Z7
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    A couple of years ago I had two shots 3 months apart in my knee. I am almost 75 and have a few

    arthritic issues but had never had any knee problems. The shots were required after I developed a painful knee when my knee popped as I was walking on a sidewalk. After the shots and as time has passed, pretty much trouble free--sometimes just a twinge when going up steps. I hope that you will be able to have a good outcome.

  • lucillle
    7 days ago

    Jasdip, I'm thinking of you and hope that these injections happen soon and that they relieve your pain. I also hope you can persuade yourself to not think of the actual injections until it happens. Maybe put a cuss jar in the living room and pay 25 cents every time you think about it?

  • foodonastump
    7 days ago

    If it's cortisone shots you might give them a try but they never worked for me, knees, shoulder, or back. Even if they do work for you I'd limit how often you get them as they're thought to be potentially damaging to the cartilage. If it's any of the "visc" gels then I'm jealous because my insurance seems to not cover them. "Seems to" because I've not gotten a satisfactorily clear response in two years. Reps say yes, claims denials suggest otherwise. I know several people who get gel injections, they're not a miracle but csn help, and can delay replacement surgery which is a worthwhile goal.


    (I was scheduled to get TKR by a highly rated surgeon recommended to me on this forum, but backed out two days prior. I'm not sorry I did; because of my age I'll put up with the pain as long as reasonable.)

  • rob333 (zone 7a)
    7 days ago

    Gel injections can't be done until steroids are done first.... here. Hopefully, jas' ortho can give her some good guidance.

  • morz8 - Washington Coast
    7 days ago

    Jas. I'm sorry. Knee or other joint issues that restrict your movement and cause pain are so frustrating. I had a congenital hip issue, but DH has struggled with his knees going all the way back to high school football years - one more than the other. He's active, pays for it sometimes, and I try not to plan things that involve walking long distances on cement (that includes malls ;)). He's more comfortable on asphalt. Oddly, he can move better on trails, in the woods, in the landscape than men half his age. He doesn't do well with the movement required to ride his mountain bike any more.

    A few years ago, he had it MRI'd and the list of old injuries and issues that revealed are too long to list for you. He's had a couple of steriod injections, the last time when recovering from a deep bone bruise - he'd fallen over a log ;) When we were first married, his primary care used to drain excess fluids from one knee with a needle. Looking back, I'm not sure how helpful that was and I don't know if even suggested these days.

    To keep this shorter, what he does now to cope is elevate when needed, sometimes ice, takes OTC tylenol. He's completely convinced these knee sleeves by Tommy Copper help him. He's never without one, wears it daily and prefers the heavier style I just linked. I don't know if they are really helpful or not, but he's convinced and for no more than they cost I'm fine with him wearing one. 40% off site wide today.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    7 days ago

    Be sure to ask whether you're a candidate for a knee replacement. Most of the people I know or encounter who've had them (along with the also now rather common hip replacements) are delighted with the results, the elimination of pain and restoration of movement being the two biggies. A minority of those I've heard tell of their experiences had the misfortune to unwittingly encounter seemingly less capable surgeons, the result of which being some problems and less satisfaction with the outcomes than hoped for.

  • cyn427 (z. 7, N. VA)
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    I had an injection in one knee.. I had arthritis in both, but was kicked very hard by a student on my left knee (picture a cop kicking in a door) two years earlier and the knee just kept getting worse. My pain had been so bad and there were days I couldn't even walk. When I went back, I told the orthopedist that it was great where he had done the injection, but could he give me several all around the knee. He mentioned the more viscous one and said it would last longer-maybe a couple of months. He never mentioned anything lasting seven months. I looked at him and said, "I just want it fixed." He looked at me and said, "We can do that." Two weeks later, I had a total knee replacement. I was 69 and am now 70.

    I would do it again in a heartbeat. Recovery was easy (the day after surgery was the worst) all things considered. I had PT starting the day after and that went for almost a year. I did my exercises. Sleeping at first was a little difficult because I didn't like the way the meds made me feel, so I mostly quit them even though the doctor tld me I should take them bc I really needed to get a good night's sleep. Within two weeks I was down to only Tylenol and aspirin. I used the Breg ice machine regularly for months and then after about six months, only occasionally.

    I hope you can get some relief, but I am so glad I had a TKR. Best thing I ever did and my right knee is better now that I am not putting more strain on it because I was favoring the left one.

    I agree with Elmer. I would also advise going to a doctor who does Orthopedic Sports Medicine. Not an athlete, but went bc they are the best. I am outside Washington DC and went to Washington Orthopedic and Sports Medicine.

  • maifleur03
    7 days ago

    Something I found out after being given a cortisone shot is you must wait a minimum of three months and preferably 7 before having replacement surgery. I did not like the lack of information provided by the doctor who referred me to another for the shot nor the information provided when I received the shot. Knowing after seeing the x-rays that I would need shoulder replacement I found a different surgeon who explained this to me. Apparently there is a type of bacteria that lives in the body that can enter the blood stream during operations causing sepsis. It thrives on the additional cortisone from the shots. I did not think to ask about the steroids in the inhaler that I use occasionally but will when I have the next appointment.


    As other have stated above there are several things that you can do but first talk to your doctor about alternatives and what you should do to strengthen the muscles in your legs pre surgery. Depending on the surgeon some want you to strengthen the leg muscles so there is a shorter recovery time.

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
    7 days ago

    I am so sorry, Jazzy. I suffer from pretty awful osteoarthritis, as well. I’m not a candidate for the injections, unfortunately, or I would get them a try. I have experienced a great deal of relief, however, from CBD oil (sublingual), taken once a day before bed. It also helps me get a restful sleep.


    I felt an improvement within a few days, and have enjoyed the benefits for three or so years.


    Have you and your doctor discussed a replacement? I know that something like that would be an extremely difficult challenge for you, but lots of people seem to manage with it.


    I’ll be thinking about you. It must be very bad for you to say something about it.

  • jkayd_il5
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    Yes, I had the shot in one knee. It was over before I had time to get ready for it. The shot really didn't last very long. I've since had both knees replaced.

  • Rusty
    7 days ago

    I have no experience with any knee problems, but I do have severe osteoarthritis in my shoulders. I've had cortisone injections in both shoulders, and they help, a LOT! I firmly believe that how much pain is involved in the actual administration of the injection depends totally on the ability of the person administering it. My doctor goes in first with a pain killer (I think he said it's lidocaine), then when the needle is in place he switches to the cortisone. Never so much as even a tiny bit of discomfort.

    Rusty

  • Kathsgrdn
    7 days ago

    I've had a couple knee injections, they didn't last long. One in the shoulder, last month. It helped. I was able to stop using my pain patches and Tylenol. It still hurts but not nearly as much. None of those were bad at all. I just turn my head and look the other way. A few years ago I had an IR injection at a pain clinic for my mostly ankle pain. The numbing injection wasn't pleasant. But my foot is very boney and I knew it was going to hurt. They didn't inject my ankle though, but the top of my foot into a very small area, which is why they needed to see what they were doing.

  • foodonastump
    7 days ago

    After reading Elmer and Cyn's responses I just quickly explain my hesistation for getting TKR. Anyone would agree that my surgeon is eminently qualified, so there was no hesitation there. My reasons are my own but I'll share them for consideration:

    Age: 20-30 year hardware lifespan. My parents are/were in their 90's. I'm 53. Revision surgery best avoided.

    High impact: Best avoided, esp to prolong the lifespan of the hardware. I'm a snowboarder. My knees blow up (LOVE the Breg machine!) but I'm not afraid of wearing or damaging hardware.

    Kneeling: Discomfort a very common complaint. Managable if only one knee, less so if both. I need both, equally. I've become acutely aware of how often I'm doing something around the house, yard, garage, etc. on my knees.

    Obviously these are all trade-offs for getting otherwise fairly perfectly functioning knees. But everyone needs to make their own decisions based on their lifestyle and pain. I'm just not quite there yet.

  • dedtired
    7 days ago

    FOAS, which Breg do you have? Have to get one for upcoming shoulder surgery.


    I’ve had so many steroid injections i should be glowing in the dark. I actually had had one in my face today. Sounds awful but it wasn’t. I have a small cyst and the steroid will shrink it.

    I’ve had them in both shoulders and my back. Both helped a lot especially in the back.

    I can’t believe you have to wait a year and a half. That’s an awfully long time to be in pain. Cross my fingers that something comes up sooner. Good luck.

  • dedtired
    7 days ago

    And P.S. none of my injections hurt beyond a mild pinch, even into my spine. Dont worry about that.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    7 days ago

    What seems to drive decisions on timing of hip and knee prosthetic surgeries is functionality and pain.

    Many orthopedic surgeons are qualified and are busy specializing in doing such procedures. But judging from my wife's experience, there is a very small percentage of that group who, for lack of a better term, seem to be recognized by other orthopedic surgeons as "superstars". I'll leave out all the details but a respected sports orthopod we know, who doesn't do hip or knee replacements (though he does do knee ligaments), told her that in the entire SF Bay area (population > 6 million), there were three and only three of such superstars he could recommend. She met all three, chose the one she liked best, and had an outstanding experience last year. Much better than she imagined possible. She's referred two of her friends to the same doc and they had the outstanding experiences too. Another friend, stuck in an integrated system with limited in-system choices only (Kaiser), had the procedure done recently and the leg with the new joint came out shorter than the other. Easy enough to handle with custom shoes and inserts but it's difficult for her to walk barefoot.

    How you feel and the movement you do or don't have will tell you when it's time, not the calendar.

    Anyone in the Bay Area looking for such doctors, message me, I'm happy to share their names.

  • foodonastump
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    @dedtired - Breg Polar Care Wave. Freeze a bunch of 8 oz water bottles, put like 3 in with the ice and water and you cut down on your ice usage. If you've never used one, what's nice is you're not dealing with getting wet, not dealing with an insulating layer between you and and ice pack which always feels either too thin or too thick, and the modulating compression is wonderful. I need to buy shoulder and back pads, but then I'll never unhook myself!

  • foodonastump
    7 days ago

    @Elmer J Fudd - Wow, that's just awful about the botched procedure! No way to rectify that without going all-in on a revision? Geez I hope she's at least got a comfortable retirement out of it.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    I'm not sure how it works with Kaiser. It's a somewhat unique system in that it's a practice of medical doctors, hospitals, labs, etc AND an HMO insurance coverage provider combined. Unless someone is injured on a trip, all care has to be provided at a Kaiser facility with Kaiser doctors. I suspect malpractice complaints are contractually limited, they get a lot of them. Kaiser is the largest and cheapest provider of crappy healthcare in California and has been for decades. A favorite of lower-paid governmental and blue-collar workers, for instance, for whom Kaiser coverage may have no employee cost share when other options do.

    Malpractice awards are also capped by law in California and, I believe, in some other states too. The days when winning a malpractice award was comparable to winning a lottery are long past.

  • WittyNickNameHere ;)
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    I'm having a bakers cyst drained behind my left knee Wednesday morning and having a cortisone shot at the same time. Not sure I really even need the cortisone shot. I'll be asking why my doctor recommended it and may skip that part. I too, was diagnosed a few weeks ago with the same thing in my knees. I'm sure I have it in my hands too, which are a lot more painful than my knees. I'm taking either RX strength Naproxen or 24 Hour Advil: both work really well for me. Why do you have to wait so long to see anyone? My doctor gave me my results the first week of January and I'm seeing someone Wednesday already and I'm in Alberta where we have a HUGE shortage of doctors.

    ETA: also increasing my calcium intake and I've started taking "Advanced Collagen +Hyaluronic Acid and Boron" caplets. I started taking them last summer and noticed a huge difference in my hands then for some weird reason just stopped. I started again on the weekend so should feel a difference within a month.


    Advanced Collagen I started using that seems to help ME.

  • Jasdip
    Original Author
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    When my dr diagnosed me a month or so ago, she said my osteo-arthritis is moderate, an nowhere near bad enough for surgery.

    I started taking Glucosamine with Chondroitin as well as calcium pills and Vitamin D. They're all supposed to help with bones.

    I went to see the doc today as I developed Bronchitis yesterday. I get bronchitis, never a cold. This is a fairly recent doctor for me, I don't see docs regularly and my previous dr quit after having her baby. She's a 'rusher' so I have to remember what I want to talk to her about, she'd rather just deal with the one problem. I'm on 2 puffers for my bronch. I mentioned my knee again, and she booked me for a bone scan, which apparently is something that should be done once we reach 61. Maybe that will tell me more about my knee? I have no idea.

  • WittyNickNameHere ;)
    7 days ago

    I was supposed to go for a bone scan almost a year ago. I booked my Mammo, and could swear I told them at the time of booking I needed the bone scan done too. It's done at the same place. I get there and I'm only booked for the Mammo. I never did re-book.

  • foodonastump
    7 days ago

    Re the caps, we don't have them in NY. I'm certainly not opposed but shocked at how low many/most are.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    7 days ago

    jasdip, I don't know what's possible in your system, but primary care docs are not trained or experienced to read x-rays or definitively diagnose arthritis. I'm also not sure how someone who doesn't do surgery can assess whether a patient is or isn't a candidate for surgery.

    Good luck.

  • maifleur03
    7 days ago

    Perhaps it is a different type of bone scan but at a certain age in the US it is suggested at least for women to receive a bone scan. However, the ones I have had only focus on the hips and a small portion of the spine above it and not the knees. It is a method to discover if you have bone loss, either osteopenia or osteoporosis. Hormones can play a part in the reduction which most scans start about that age. I have known the wife of one man who was sent for a bone scan but I do not believe it is common for men to have them unless they start breaking main bones.


    WittyNick the problem with the mammo and bone scan together is one that I have had several times. Last time after waiting over an hour for the doctor to finally contact the place where I was waiting for the order to arrive I finally just left. I mentioned both when I arrived but the people at the desk just did not listen to what I said. It was only after I had my mammo and I asked about the bone scan that they even looked to see if the doctor had sent a request for it. No longer using that doctor or the facility.

  • Ninapearl
    7 days ago

    i'm riddled with osteoarthritis, have been for years. i had both hips replaced 23 years ago and haven't had a single problem. they're still going strong. i have follow up xrays every 2 years.

    my knees, on the other hand, are horrible. my right knee has been bone on bone for the last 4-5 years. the left one isn't as bad although it's definitely painful. i've been putting off knee replacement but it's inevitable.

    i've had several steroid injections in my knees but the last few have been pretty much ineffective. tried the gel injection in my right knee a few months ago and had exactly 1 day of relief. each time i've had a knee injected, area was sprayed with a numbing/freezing solution that helped although it was still painful.

    i'm getting to the point, with my knees, that every day chores take me forever and it's very discouraging. my biggest issue is that i live in the middle of nowhere and it's gonna be really hard to find someone who will be able to stay with me for a week especially since i have 2 great danes. boarding them somewhere is out of the question.

    i agree that you should find an ortho group, they will be able to get you in much sooner, probably within a few weeks. wishing you luck!

  • WittyNickNameHere ;)
    6 days ago

    @maifleur03 I made the call personally. I had the requisition and placed the call for the appointments. I thought she understood I needed both appointments, but she must've missed the one. I wanted them done the same day as it's across town in the same building. The doctor doesn't call them to make the appointments. it's not a doctor referal.

  • Judy Good
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    I have had knee injections a few times. Synvisc which was three different shots and another time was cortisone. There really is not any pain except for a split second and then it was gone. The shots worked very well for me. So worth it. Why can't you go to an ortho doctor and a shorter wait?

  • WittyNickNameHere ;)
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    I think when I'm done my bottle of Collagen pills, I may switch over to THESE. I researched and do feel when I take the collagen with boron, my joints (especially my hands!) feel SO much better. From all the joint relief stuff my store carries, only this brandcontains the mineral. Straight Boron is a lot cheaper and a bottle last 3 months. What I've been using lasts 40 days.

    I googled Boron and if you want to know more about it and how it works on joint pain, READ HERE

  • Jupidupi
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    Needles freak me out but I've developed a method to make shots and blood draws easier.

    1. ) I bite on something, usually a paper towel, while they are doing it.

    2.) I lie down if at all possible.

    3.) I ask them ahead of time to tell me the moment the needle is out. (Otherwise I'll keep thinking it's still in, especially with blood draws.)

    4.) ALWAYS turn the other way and keep my eyes shut.

    5.) And this is the real key: While they are preparing everything, I do my best to imagine, in detail, that I am playing with my cat. I am dangling a string and--oops--she accidentally claws me. I know it's silly, but I've found this makes needles way less scary.

  • WittyNickNameHere ;)
    5 days ago

    I had the Bakers Cyst drained and the cortisone injected and it was 100% painless! Keep in mind when you have a Bakers Cyst drained, they put freezing in your knee so I didn't feel more than a slight pinch.

  • H B
    5 days ago

    I had a couple of cortisone shots; they were painless (think they put a numbing solution on your knee first). As mentioned above, shots delay any possibility of surgery by several months (depends on the surgeon) and some do feel it adversely affects cartilage. One potential side effect is deep flushing (on the order of hot flashes) -- just to be aware, or 48 hours after the shot you might think you're having a heart attack or something.


    FOAS -- if you have any cartilage left and the resources, investigate cartilage regeneration. They take some of your existing cartilage, grow it, and re-install (but you have to have enough cartilage to take the sample and to attach the new growths to). (Dara Torres had it done.)


    I waited too long and didn't have any cartilage to work with, and ended up with a double TKR (not yet 60). Gotta say that whole process sucked; it's been a year now and it's better. But it was to the point I couldn't walk, and that's no life either. Went skiing for the first time in a couple of years for a few hours this year. Gently. :-)


    Good luck to you both.

  • WittyNickNameHere ;)
    3 days ago

    OMG! Okay.... okay.... I iced the injection/asperation area every hour for several hours yesterday. Took one Advil 12 hour pill to help aliviate the pain, which really wasn't *that* bad, I just didn't want it to get worse. I went to bed and had a really good sleep. I was going to sleep with my window open, but was too lazy to get back up to open it. I woke up this morning and felt really warm. I figured I must've had my blankets up higher than normal and just laid there for a bit. Nope, still hot as an oven. I get up, use the bathroom then look in the mirror! HOLY COW WHO SET MY FACE ON FIRE! I read that cortisone can cause facial flushing. I just figured I would get warm flashes like I did with menopause. Nope! My face was bright red and my skin was hot to the touch! It took most of the day for the redness to go away, but the hot flashes are super hot now! And I googled: this could last 2 or 3 more days. Great!

  • foodonastump
    3 days ago

    Wow I've never heard anyone have such a reaction! Hope it goes down soon.


    H B - thanks for the suggestion. Not sure how much is needed, but they have been calling it bone on bone for a while. I'll look into it. I'll admit I'm skeptical, as a family friend spent a small fortune on stem cell something-or-other with no benefit. That was several years ago, I'm sure technology has changed. Maybe they'll do something like my landscaper does with plantings, pay more and it's guaranteed? 😉

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