If anyone has questions about knees and/or painkillers please go ahead and ask me. I have had lots of experience of both over the last two and a half years. I would love to help others if I can. I knew nothing about knees and had no one to ask!
I've had knee issues on and off for many, many years. Never serious enough to resort to painkillers save after a laproscopic surgery some years back for torn meniscus. I don't do well on opiates in particular (they wire me up and I can't sleep after taking them along with the other side effects, irritability, constipation etc.) and prefer to use naproxsyn when needed. The most helpful and absolute saving grace for me was following through with the PT regimen and icing. I do the exercises to this day, not daily but at least 3 times a week.
I feel the onset of some arthritis in both knees so I do the exercises on both knees and always ice afterwards. I can't dance quite like I used to but, I still do get out on the dance floor fairly regularly and I do cycle regularly and swim whenever I can.
I have a number of good friends who have had knee replacements and they all seem to have recuperated quite well.
I'm sure your input will be valuable to many. Thanks!!
Hello Casimira I agree that opiates are a risky way to deal with pain. I've had that problem myself. Yes, Icing the affected knee does help a lot. It's good to read that your friends, who have had knee replacements, are doing well. I hope to do better as time goes on. It seems to me that as we age most of us are susceptible to knee pain to some degree. I am unsure whether natural alternative medicines can really help. Personally I don't think so. There's no harm in trying though.
Until I had my second knee op I had no problem with arthritis, however I was given opiates for pain in the run-up to my surgery and I was not warned of their possible dire effect; after this my joints were generally not so good. I have not succeeded in finding effective painkillers that do not involve opiates, so I stick to paracetamol now.
Prior to the last knee injury that required my surgery I had been going to an acupuncturist who was also a trained medical doctor. She worked wonders on my knee, I was amazed. But, after the last injury, the tissue, cartilage, was torn so badly that she really couldn't do much. I showed her the MRI from the orthopedist and she told me that the surgery was the only way to go.
I would like to mention that (as far as I know) there are two similar but different types of knee replacement. One is the well-known replacement where the bones in the leg are sawn off near the top of the joint and the whole kneecap and other gubbins are removed and replaced.
I had the lesser-known Total Knee Resurfacing Replacement copyright R. I am just writing what the surgeon wrote. This method does NOT involve any removal of bone but the covering of the existing bones with hammered metals. A new cartilage is affixed in between these bones. This does away with arthritic pain.
A friend had her knee replaced when I had mine done but she opted for the old-fashioned way. We now keep track of each other's progress. I would say we have had similar amounts of (excrutiating) pain which is lessening as weeks go by. The suffering disappeared from my knee around Week 10 although I still feel a lot of discomfort sometimes.
I am really pursuing the concept of having Stem Cell Therapy in my other knee when the time comes. I have to find someone who can do this in england.
Casimira - so did you have an Arthroscopy? or more than that?
Spindrift, I had laparoscopic surgery. I guess it's the same as arthroscopic.
The surgeon gave me a copy of a dvd of my surgery which it was pretty cool. I have loaned it out to many people over the years to help ease their anxiety above having the procedure done. The rehabilitation time was much shorter than most people I talked to but I was super diligent about the PT exercises.
I have a knee that has been acting up occasionally for about 20 years. It only happens maybe about 3 or 4 days a year (probably weather related) and when it happens, it just forces me to go downstairs with extreme precaution and a bit of grimacing. No problem walking or going upstairs. And actually, the problem has become less serious over the years, so I am hoping that I can continue without ever having to consider surgery.
This same knee would act up from time to time, mostly when having to walk alot where their were inclines such as in Istanbul, Oaxaca and sometimes even in NYC. On those occasions I would generally just have to take some naproxyn and ice it and sometimes wear an elastic knee brace. This surgery that I refer to was a result of my dog running behind me in a narrow space in my garden at full speed and rammed right smack dab into the back of the knee and I could feel the shredding of the tissue when it occurred. I knew right then and there that it was serious. Gratefully, my husband and two dear friends were here when it happened. It swelled up so quickly that my husband had to cut my pant leg with some blunt shears and off we went to the doctor. That night I was a guest of honor at a dinner being held for several others and I really did not want to go but, "high as a kite" I went with my crutches and managed to have a great time despite.
I have been lucky enough over the years to have had very few medical problems, so I know extremely little about medication and treatments. So I started reading this thread out of idle curiosity, but I was amazed when yesterday's newspaper devoted no fewer than 6 pages to the dangers of opiates as common painkillers. The article mostly points its finger at something called Oxycontin (oxycodone), whose makers claimed was a safe addiction-free painkiller, and apparently it is far from the case.
Opiates are a curse and as doctors write prescriptions for them they are given out in handfuls. I know of people who have been addicted to them for many years and perhaps do not even consider themselves to be addicted. I know that opiates in Ohio are the number one killer. One can become addicted within three days to this prescribed medicine. My GP handed them to me for my initial knee pain but gave me no warning and there was no warning on the tablet box either. AS I had to take them for several months whilst waiting for my surgeon I unknowingly became addicted. I had no idea of my situation until, after knee surgery, I went home and stopped taking the tablets.
It seems to be the case that there is no other strong painkiller apart from the poppy. It's either opiates or paracetamol. I have spent over a year coming out of my so-called addiction to prescribed medicine. I've done it but it has been hell. I can understand why people give up and don't bother to withdraw. But I was not prepared to have to take opiates for the rest of my life so I paid the price and came off them.
So, friends, before you swallow what a doctor or dentist gives you, be sure to read the list of contents on the box. Opiates are dressed up in many fancy names. The last time I went for a knee check-up at the clinic I saw big signs saying 'Beware Opiates'.....this was a private clinic. I doubt this is put up in the NHS.
Kerouac2, keep going on your knee; don't have knee surgery if you can avoid it. It's too painful :-)
Casimira? your knee seems to be doing well, you have been fortunate. I like your story about having to attend a dinner afterwards....you were very brave. You must have had a big fright when the dog ran into you....
In just over an hour I will face the music thick needle. I'm having my annual Cortisone injections into my knee caps. My right knee is far more painful - and happens to be the same side as my painful hip. I am hoping like hell these jabs will last another year as I recently saw photos of a knee replacement - the recipient tells me the steel? knee joint weighs a ton.
It went off without a hitch....almost. When I felt a titch of needle pain I winced and let out a audible "Ouch!" Then immediately apologised to my doctor who just smiled as he knew he was doing an excellent job - then praised me for being such a brave girl