Knee

I’ve been dealing with a knee issue since December. I had tendinitis in my right knee. I think it was from one of the knee machines at the gym (which I quit using). I was going to PT and haven’t been seeing any improvements. I saw Ortho in June and got an MRI, which of course was inconclusive.

The diagnosis is “mild chondromalacia of joint and quadriceps tendinitis”. But honestly my Ortho Doc is baffled.

I decided to spend the summer going to PT and trying to see what happens. There was a lot going on with moving, selling our house, etc. PT wasn’t really helping, though and a lot of the exercises I was trying to do was making it WORSE. It was SO frustrating! And my physical therapist was frustrated too!

I recently started doing acupuncture and was actually seeing some differences–which was weird because all the times I’ve ever tried acupuncture, I never really saw any results. But this time, it seemed to help. It gave me a few weeks of relief! Then my benefits ran out. My physical therapist plead my case to my doctor for a referral so I could keep going and that finally got approved! So in a few weeks I’ll go back to acupuncture and see if that helps.

Which brings me to this week. It’s been two weeks since I’ve been to acupuncture and this week my knee pain flared up again. I had a follow-up appointment with my Ortho doc Thursday and we chatted. He gave me two options–the cortisone shot and “dry needling“.

He said that the dry needling is different than acupuncture and can be more painful. He said he’d want me to take a few days off to rest after that but with the cortisone shot, I would be ok to go to work and move around and stuff (I just couldn’t work out for two days).

Since he’s not 100% sure on what my knee issue is because the MRI didn’t really show much, he said the cortisone shot was the best bet for now to see if it would just “reset” my body. Sometimes you need to reset the pain centers and then your body can heal. I had the same issue after my ankle surgery 15+ years ago and ended up getting a cortisone shot in my ankle (it was horribly painful!!!!) and then within a week my pain was gone and I had no more issues. I know some people need to have multiple injections, but I’m hoping I’m a one shot and done person. (Crossing fingers!)

So he thinks that I have fluid and inflammation in that area at the top of my kneecap (see picture above with the arrow). The pain is at the top of the kneecap, where it meets my quad. Stretching doesn’t help. Bending my knee hurts. Stairs hurt. It’s a very odd injury.

He sprayed my leg and knee with this stuff and then gave me the injection. Unlike with my ankle shot, it was one shot and it wasn’t painful at all. Then I went to work. I was stiff and a little sore but I was able to walk and didn’t feel miserable or anything.

It will take 7 days or so to see if the shot did anything. Right now it’s a guessing game. The naturopath doctor I saw suggested I try PRP therapy. I asked my Ortho Doc about it and he’s a HUGE fan. As a sports medicine doctor he thinks it’s a great thing and wishes that HMO’s would try it. It’s still controversial and they aren’t quite sure how or why it works for some people. But he raved about it and said if I could “afford it” (I can’t) I should try it. Time will tell. Right now I’m doing what insurance covers–the cortisone shot and acupuncture each week.