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Arthritis in Knee


scbusf
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My knees have always been not so great - no injuries, just always creaky and weak. Now that I'm in my mid-40s, I think I'm developing arthritis. So far, it's just the right knee. My mom had double knee replacements in her 50s due to arthritis.

 

What can I do? I know I need to lose some weight - I could stand to lose 30 pounds or so. That should help, right?

 

Does Glucosamine and Chondroitin help? And no, I haven't been to the doctor yet. I will go soon.

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ok - I come from a family where my sister had a knee replacement in her 50s (which is young).  my only-child mother had a knee replacement.  my grandmother and most of her sisters had knee replacements.

 

I used to have intermittent pain in one knee - starting in my 40s. (went on for years).  then I was diagnosed with mthf.  (it's a gene snp that can affect the body's ability to use a specific form of folate).  I started being treated for it - my knee pain went away (i've had other - but that was a specific mcl injury.)

 

one of the issues related to mthf - is joint problems. 

 

also - adrenal function is related to muscles that stabilize the pelvis - and that also affects knees.

 

losing weight will help - but due to thyroid I still haven't been able to lose that much - but my knee hasn't bothered me in a couple years.

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1. Yes lose weight if you can.

 

2.  More importantly than losing weight, IMHO, is strengthening your leg muscles and your core so that the joint is better supported.   Seriously, this should help.  I would recommend, if you can, finding a physical therapist to help you do this the right way.  It is very easy to damage the joint if you do things incorrectly.

 

3.  Yes, see your doctor but try to get referred to a specialist.  A regular doc may not take this seriously or really understand the various options to be proactive in preserving your joint.

 

4.  If you are proactive you may be able to stave off more serious issues, at least for quite a while.

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I have zero cartridge in one knee because of a broken kneecap that was never set. My goal is to make 60 before I have to get it replaced, which is less than 4 years away. Sometimes I wonder if I should do it early, but it is mostly good. Of late it is more my ankle and shredded tendons there.

 

Make sure that you go to KNEE doctor, not just a family doctor and not a general orthopedist.

 

Having strong, balanced muscles is absolutely key. Even if you have replacement, being strong is a major factor in recovering well.

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According to my vet and internal medicine doctor all dogs have the enzyme necessary to metabolize glucosamine, but only about half of humans have that enzyme. So it's hit or miss but probably definitely worth trying.

 

And don't rule out the power of really good shoes to help. My knees tell me loud and clear when I need to trash a pair of shoes. And for me it's much quicker than most people would think (like every six months or so for the athletic shoes I wear the most).

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Definitely get it checked out.

 

Not that that's helped me much, lol. (Cranky lol, not funny lol.)

I've had hurt-y, crunchy knees since my teens, and a bio dad who has had multiple knee surgeries.  Well over a decade ago, I went to the ER for an especially painful "glitch", and the ER doc told me there was obvious arthritis on the xray.

Years later, I fractured my foot and asked the ortho about my knees.  He did xrays and said they looked perfect.

 

:confused1:

 

Losing weight has helped (though I wasn't overweight when any of this started) but strengthening my leg muscles and tendons has made a HUGE difference.  My knees get achy and creaky maybe once or twice a month, vs. daily issues before.

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How physically active are you? Sometimes our bodies get achy simply from inactivity. We are meant to move.

 

Otherwise, weight plays a factor, as well as muscle strength and flexibility.

 

Another factor, especially in the knees, is the bone alignment from the hips down. 

 

Definitely see a doctor.

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I had double arthroscopy at the end of 2016 due to arthritis in both knees. I just turned 40 and wish I had done this 5 years ago. I have no cartilage and had torn meniscus in both knees. It's a catch 22 if you have problems like this. The exercises cause more swelling and weakness, which then leaves you less able to exercise. I tried PT, braces and supplements for years beforehand. They just didn't work for me. I also tried corticosteroids which where a hormonal disaster. Surgery was the only answer. I've lost over 10 lbs since the surgery. I think more than half was due to loosing the swelling I lived with for years, the rest is from being able to be more consistently active.

 

Since the surgery there is less "crunching," and I am gradually regaining the strength. It has been a long process. You need the "perfect" PT really. Too agressive and it will reinjure, too lax and you won't regain your flexibility. I am not quite three months out- PT told me to give it up to 12 months to see what my "full" recovery will be. One knee was a horrible few weeks recovery after, other knee was a breeze, so never count on reading about others' recoveries to judge your own- that's the biggest lesson I learned!

 

Anyway, I echo the others' suggestions to find a good ortho, exercise as possible, but don't shrug off surgery if it's the biggest recommendation. Because I let mine go so long I will probably need a patella replacement in the next few years. There is only so much the arthroscopy could accomplish on the worst knee. Had I done this sooner, that would probably not be the case. It's a balance of figuring out the right intervention at the right time, so don't hesitate to seek a second opinion. I would get one regardless, as there is such a variation in how orthos go about things. Knees are important! :) It's worth the extra appointment!

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