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Old 10-03-2011, 04:12 PM
Location: Between Seattle and Portland
1,266 posts, read 2,908,229 times
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To continue my saga of "death by a thousand paper cuts" as I age, I made my first visit to an orthopedist this morning.

After decades of running, jogging, hiking, and speed-walking, I was sure the throbbing pain in my right knee I had been experiencing for a month was going to result in the doc assuming a grave expression and explaining what had to be done for a joint replacement.

The x-rays and physical exam revealed pretty healthy knees for an old crone like me, and the diagnosis was bursitis. (There was no precipitating event that I could remember to produce the pain from tripping or some other injury.) He said it was no big deal and that a cortisone shot would probably help in the healing process.

So his P.A. administered the shot right at the most painful point on my inner knee area, and voila! A feeling of soothing, warm relief and the pain has lessened considerably. Continued elevation and ice pack application were advised, and I can go right on speed-walking for my exercise "as tolerated."

I'd like to hear from anyone who underwent treatment for knee bursitis. Did you get a cortisone shot, too? Did the situation resolve itself with no recurrence, or is the bursitis chronic?
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:41 PM
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,874 posts, read 14,043,086 times
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I had a cortisone shot in the knee once, too. As you described, it was freakishly painful when the needle went in, then immediately relief from the pain. I also had an injection once in my chin, when I was decades younger. I had a terrible spreading infection from acne cysts. Before I could even protest, the dermatologist stuck the needle in and my horror turned to joy; the pain diminished immediately, the swelling went away in minutes, and the redness disappeared while I watched in the mirror. Cortisone really is a wonder drug -- too bad that's only true under highly controlled conditions.

My knee problem was chondromalacia patella Chondromalacia patella - MayoClinic.com It got to the point where, in addition to being excruciatingly painful, the joint was nearly immobile. The cortisone fixed it up just like new, but I had to employ some concerted, dedicated changes in order to alter the condition that caused it. Luckily they were do-able, so the fact that my one leg is slightly longer than the other could be compensated for and I have been able to cope since then without a major relapse. At the slightest sign of any inflammation, I get off my feet, ice my knee, and take Alleve. Once I reduce the swelling I'm not irritating the cartilage in a way that creates a chronic condition.

I've never had bursitis but several people in my family have had it in their shoulders from overuse or an accident. They eventually recovered, so I guess for many people it's not a chronic condition. I hope that's true for you, too. I have no doubt the cortisone will speed your recovery. Good luck.

Last edited by Jukesgrrl; 10-03-2011 at 05:45 PM.. Reason: added link
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:21 AM
Location: Between Seattle and Portland
1,266 posts, read 2,908,229 times
Reputation: 1502
Many thanks, Jukesgrrl, for your reply full of helpful tips!

What a relief to be able to sleep through the night without my throbbing knee jerking me awake whenever I attempted to turn over to the other side.

Yep, the cortisone shot was truly a wonder drug for me. I'm going to do my usual speed-walk of four or so miles today to see how it goes.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:52 AM
15,406 posts, read 20,587,676 times
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I had the same problem about six years ago. I almost had to crawl into the doctor's office. When he gave me the cocktail shot (cortisone and some kind of painkiller), I almost went through the ceiling...the pain of injecting something into an area that was already filled with fluid was excruciating. But the relief was almost immediate. I did have to have another shot about a month later but needed no additional treatment after that.
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