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Old 05-26-2013, 09:29 AM
 
511 posts, read 571,691 times
Reputation: 263

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A month ago, I went to my doctor for a checkup and finally got some good news. My blood tests all came back normal. Good cholesterol. After years of having constant health problems and bad news from the doctor, finally it appeared that all my efforts to improve my health have paid off. I was in a regular exercise routine, and on the road to losing weight.

Then my body decided to give me a slap in the face. Ever since I started my workout routine, I've had aching painful knees. My knees felt weak. So I kept on doing exercises that should strengthen my knees. I started by walking the stairs at work. Every day, I would add a new flight of stairs until I was completely out of breath. I could only make it up 5 flights of stairs nonstop. Then I would go to the gym every other day, and do treadmill and elliptical machine workouts. I would gradually increase my time in the gym so I wasn't overdoing it. I also started these knee exericses by slowing squatting and raising.

I woke up one day two weeks ago, and felt this strong popping sensation in my left leg/knee. I still have the problem. It feels so deep inside that I can't tell exactly where it is coming from, but it is so bothersome that I dread walking now. I've seen zero improvement after two weeks which has me in despair that this is a chronic problem that will never go away. My left knee also feels quite weak. The sensation is the strongest when I wake up in the morning and start to move around.

On the plus side, I never had any swelling, and only very mild pain, sometimes an aching sensation on the inside of my knee running up my thigh. Also, I notice that whenever I walk for awhile or even go to the gym, the sensation goes away. But it always comes back.

I just can't believe that I'm looking at another health problem as a result of my efforts to get healthy. I've tried to tell myself that I must have just sprained a muscle, and if it was a torn menicus or ligament, I wouldn't see the symptoms just disappear after walking for awhile.

Any thoughts or suggestions on what I should do?
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:04 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,263 posts, read 31,757,476 times
Reputation: 20198
You should go to a doctor.
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Central Jersey
376 posts, read 485,115 times
Reputation: 925
I'll second the doctor suggestion. Knees can be tricky and frustrating.

My own story: after years of being inactive and not watching what I ate, I decided to eat better and exercise. I eventually started to jog regularly, and really enjoyed it. One day I was jogging as normal and felt an "Uh oh!" discomfort in my knee; no warning, no unusual movement to trigger it. I immediately had to stop and limp home. I didn't go to the doctor, but I self-diagnosed it as a torn meniscus. It took me several weeks to get back to normal, and I still feel minor discomfort if I push the knee too hard.

So don't give up on your commitment to healthy living, but understand that these things sometimes happen. Good luck!
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:14 AM
 
511 posts, read 571,691 times
Reputation: 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
You should go to a doctor.
Well thanks for nothing. I know what will happen when I go to the doctor. I'll spend time away from work, he basically tell me to wait several weeks to see if it resolves itself. Then I have to go back a 2nd time for him to only schedule a MRI. Then a 4th visit to basically tell me that that MRI is inconclusive and to just live with it. Lots of money wasted and I'm no better off.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:43 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,263 posts, read 31,757,476 times
Reputation: 20198
Quote:
Originally Posted by txdave35 View Post
Well thanks for nothing. I know what will happen when I go to the doctor. I'll spend time away from work, he basically tell me to wait several weeks to see if it resolves itself. Then I have to go back a 2nd time for him to only schedule a MRI. Then a 4th visit to basically tell me that that MRI is inconclusive and to just live with it. Lots of money wasted and I'm no better off.
If you don't want to hear the advice given to you, then don't ask for it.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Northern Appalachia
3,959 posts, read 5,028,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
You should go to a doctor.
If you go to your family doctor/PCP, he will most likely tell you to stop doing what you have been doing and to take some ibuprofen.

If you go to a doctor, you want to go to one who is certified in sports medicine, or physical medicine and rehabilitation. He will diagnose exactly what is wrong with you and give you the available options, which are few. Mostly likely, you will be told to do physical therapy and rest.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:09 PM
 
18,856 posts, read 27,963,434 times
Reputation: 25730
Actually, the older you are, the more easy it is to damage your knee, lack of cartlidge, I messed up my knee, and felt like you, why bother? Well, it always hurt.

So, I finally went to the doctor, and had orthoscopic surgery, and felt great.

Now, for exercise, I do yoga, weight lifting, less impact on knees.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:10 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,263 posts, read 31,757,476 times
Reputation: 20198
Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
If you go to your family doctor/PCP, he will most likely tell you to stop doing what you have been doing and to take some ibuprofen.

If you go to a doctor, you want to go to one who is certified in sports medicine, or physical medicine and rehabilitation. He will diagnose exactly what is wrong with you and give you the available options, which are few. Mostly likely, you will be told to do physical therapy and rest.
When my knee started to give out, I went to my PCP first. She referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in sports medicine. She didn't tell me to take ibuprophen. She said that based on my description of how the pain started, how long I'd had it, the nature of the pain, and the frequency of flareups, it sounded like a torn meniscus but that the ortho guy would be more qualified than she was to tell for sure.

Turned out it wasn't a torn meniscus - it was something to do with the knee joint - a divot. He drilled three holes in the bottom of my femur so that the marrow would leak out and calcify in the divot where the problem was, thus filling it up and solving the problem. Six months later, and my knee felt better than it had in five years.

But my PCP was absolutely right in referring me. Just because some people have bad experiences with their PCPs doesn't mean PCPs all suck. They have protocol they're required to follow to satisfy insurance companies. Patients also have to follow the protocol, if they expect insurance to cover any of the procedures.

If you think your knee is injured, you go to a doctor. Which doctor? Whichever doctor is the most appropriate, that your insurance covers. If you're required to get a referral first, then you go to your PCP. If you're not required, you go to an in-network ortho guy. If you don't know which ortho guy to go to, then you revert back to your PCP and ask for a recommendation. That's part of what they're there for. They coordinate your care.
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Northern Appalachia
3,959 posts, read 5,028,909 times
Reputation: 4311
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
When my knee started to give out, I went to my PCP first. She referred me to an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in sports medicine. She didn't tell me to take ibuprophen. She said that based on my description of how the pain started, how long I'd had it, the nature of the pain, and the frequency of flareups, it sounded like a torn meniscus but that the ortho guy would be more qualified than she was to tell for sure.

Turned out it wasn't a torn meniscus - it was something to do with the knee joint - a divot. He drilled three holes in the bottom of my femur so that the marrow would leak out and calcify in the divot where the problem was, thus filling it up and solving the problem. Six months later, and my knee felt better than it had in five years.

But my PCP was absolutely right in referring me. Just because some people have bad experiences with their PCPs doesn't mean PCPs all suck. They have protocol they're required to follow to satisfy insurance companies. Patients also have to follow the protocol, if they expect insurance to cover any of the procedures.

If you think your knee is injured, you go to a doctor. Which doctor? Whichever doctor is the most appropriate, that your insurance covers. If you're required to get a referral first, then you go to your PCP. If you're not required, you go to an in-network ortho guy. If you don't know which ortho guy to go to, then you revert back to your PCP and ask for a recommendation. That's part of what they're there for. They coordinate your care.
Good point about the referral. My current insurance doesn't require me to get a referral. I just contact my sports medicine doctor for Synvisc shots. This will be the 4th time I have had them. I'm able to do the same thing with physical therapy. I can self-refer and get PT treatments for a month without a doctor's referral.

I wasn't inferring bad experience with PCPs. If I had a bad experience with my PCP, I would find another one. It's just that my PCP tends to tell me I should start looking for different sports considering my age.

I am surprised your PCP didn't tell you to take ibuprophen when she thought you had a torn meniscus. Torn meniscus are very common and arthroscopic surgery doesn't help a whole lot. I had it and my knee feels about the same.
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:29 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,263 posts, read 31,757,476 times
Reputation: 20198
Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot1 View Post
Good point about the referral. My current insurance doesn't require me to get a referral. I just contact my sports medicine doctor for Synvisc shots. This will be the 4th time I have had them. I'm able to do the same thing with physical therapy. I can self-refer and get PT treatments for a month without a doctor's referral.

I wasn't inferring bad experience with PCPs. If I had a bad experience with my PCP, I would find another one. It's just that my PCP tends to tell me I should start looking for different sports considering my age.

I am surprised your PCP didn't tell you to take ibuprophen when she thought you had a torn meniscus. Torn meniscus are very common and arthroscopic surgery doesn't help a whole lot. I had it and my knee feels about the same.
She isn't a bone specialist, she's what used to be called a GP - general practitioner. I don't remember this week's term for it

She knew that whatever it was, was outside her area of expertise. She had her guess, and it turned out her guess was incorrect. But it was pretty close - the symptoms are just about the same. The surgery was awesome by the way. I was awake (conscious sedation) and watched the whole thing on the monitor while they were doing it. Uber pain when the meds started to wear off, but they gave me enough percoset to keep me in la-la land for a week so I muddled through recovery. The next day I spent most of it on the lazy-boy vegging out, but the second day after surgery the doctor insisted that I get up and move, with most of my weight-bearing on the other leg. The bandages were off by the third day, and I started physical therapy the following Monday (less than 7 days after surgery). I take a very aggressive approach to physical therapy, whenever I need it. As aggressive as the PT and doctor allow.
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