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BOBB
Knee Cartilage worn out - dr recommends synthetic - any experience? 7/5/2008 10:43AM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Earlier this year a knee lost range of motion after a track meet. As I continued to run the pain behind my knee increased and the range of motion became less and less. Xrays, MRI and 3 opinions later, the undisputed diagnosis is my knee cap cartilage is gone. As a masters runner I kept my milage reasonable and wasn't experiencing knee specific pain so it was a surprise. PT and cortisone haven't helped so my last chance to jog (not race is getting a synthetic lubricant shot. Has anyone had any success with this? There are 4 brands out there and I was going to try euflexxa.
Royals52333
RE: Knee Cartilage worn out - dr recommends synthetic - any experience? 7/5/2008 11:03AM - in reply to BOBB Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I tried Synvisc after bad arthritis destroyed my knees. Took 3 shots in each knee at 1000.00 per shot. No benefit. Other docs say 'worthless'.

For me cortisone shots were much better, but now the only thing is a new knee.





BOBB wrote:

Earlier this year a knee lost range of motion after a track meet. As I continued to run the pain behind my knee increased and the range of motion became less and less. Xrays, MRI and 3 opinions later, the undisputed diagnosis is my knee cap cartilage is gone. As a masters runner I kept my milage reasonable and wasn't experiencing knee specific pain so it was a surprise. PT and cortisone haven't helped so my last chance to jog (not race is getting a synthetic lubricant shot. Has anyone had any success with this? There are 4 brands out there and I was going to try euflexxa.
Rob K
RE: Knee Cartilage worn out - dr recommends synthetic - any experience? 7/5/2008 7:22PM - in reply to BOBB Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
That a tough break. I think I might be going down that route also. What's the harm in trying the synthetic lubricant?

Did you have any knee surgeries before? Any symptom like creaking knees pr sore and stiff knees before?

How about supplements like chondroitin?
whirledpeas
RE: Knee Cartilage worn out - dr recommends synthetic - any experience? 7/5/2008 8:09PM - in reply to BOBB Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
at some point you have turn the page, and move on.

it's like driving down the street with only rims on your car, and no tires.
no magical wizard is going to appear and fix you--you're worn out; time to quit or face a life of chronic pain and disability.
tes
RE: Knee Cartilage worn out - dr recommends synthetic - any experience? 7/5/2008 8:16PM - in reply to whirledpeas Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I'm afraid I'm heading there too. 30 years. Running and racing all over the world..
odd feeling at only 53 years old!
bike with no handlebars
RE: Knee Cartilage worn out - dr recommends synthetic - any experience? 7/5/2008 9:33PM - in reply to tes Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I had that treatment done and it did not do a damn thing. Might as well as shot it full of water..........My doctor, wanted to do it again and my insurance company said "FU" we aren't paying for it again....I wouldn't do it if I were you.......
BamaCoyote
RE: Knee Cartilage worn out - dr recommends synthetic - any experience? 7/5/2008 11:32PM - in reply to bike with no handlebars Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Man you have chondromalasia, spelling in a bad way. I think they can put in a fake knee cap.If you have to get total joint replacment I doubt you'll be able to run or it will just wear out in a hurry. I'm very sorry, I have it too but not as bad as you.
knee sucks too
RE: Knee Cartilage worn out - dr recommends synthetic - any experience? 7/6/2008 11:26AM - in reply to BamaCoyote Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
measure both quad muscles and make sure they are equal. if one is off, strengthen that.
BobB
Thanks for the advice 7/6/2008 12:14PM - in reply to BOBB Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Thanks for the insights. Didn't realize the drugs were so spendy but my insurance considers Euflexxa a generic so it is reasonable. Bringing my physical therapist with me to the ortho this week to help ask better questions about what it means to replace a knee cap, MD's experience with this procedure, etc. but hope it will be a ways down the road. On the quad response - they aren't equal at this point and probably some sort of long term imbalance exacerbated the wear in this knee. Tried strengthening but too late. I did not see this coming - my 2008 goals were all about Spokane Masters Track and Team Cross Country. Experienced bruising and pain when younger from racing flats and running marathon mileage but dialed it back and was not experiencing knee pain. I am 46 yo female (my husband got our email logon first) and ran a 5:46 pace for the track 3,000 that turned out to be my finale. I accept racing and road running are over but really want to be able to jog on soft surfaces with my high schooler - it is a great way to keep him talking. I can still spin and swim and know I am fortunate not to have anything life-threatening but it is a radical thinking and behavioral adjustment. I will be cheering all of you on at the races. Thanks again!
ticktock
RE: Thanks for the advice 7/6/2008 12:59PM - in reply to BobB Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
if your cartilage is worn out, why would putting in lubricant help? It's still like driving without tires, isn't it? Can someone explain the logic behind this to me?
Blowing Rock Master
RE: Thanks for the advice 7/6/2008 1:30PM - in reply to BobB Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I had torn cartilage and a spot where it had completely worn off. I tried the synthetic and it didn't work. The doc then opted for a procedure (microfracture) where he drills into the bone getting it to bleed. The resulting clot filled the hole in my cartilage and prompted the growth of new cartilage there. I was down for 2 months but I've been able to run for the two years since.

There are treatments available, don't give up.
Quenton
RE: Thanks for the advice 7/6/2008 2:06PM - in reply to Blowing Rock Master Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Now thats an procedure I've never heard of that is intriguing. I have next
to no cartilage in my knees; do you think it would work? Or do you need
a significant quantity there for it to work?

Respecting the synthetic lubricant. Total waste of money. It really did
absolutely nothing ... I did not feel one minute of any kind of relief ..
except maybe when the pain from the injection went away. Its amazing
that with so many people getting no results ... that they would keep on doing it.

I'm told that I need knee replacements and have been delaying the surgery looking or the very best prosthetic possible. Do you have any suggestions?

Meanwhile, I continue to run a few days a week. I can do an easy 5 miles;
but nothing at speed ... and of course cannot compete. Three years ago
I was running 57, 2:09 and 4:34 for the 1500 ... then it ripped.

I've heard of a prosthetic made by Stryker called the "triathalon" ... It sounds like it has more longevity that the Zimner my surgeon uses and apparently has a better range of motion. I want to get it done and go after a sub 5 mile one
more time. Any and all words of wisdom are esteemed.
Blowing Rock Master
RE: Thanks for the advice 7/6/2008 2:44PM - in reply to Quenton Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I'm not a doctor and I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so I anything I tell you would really be a guess. I can tell you that my doc pulled a piece of cartilage out of my knee that was the size of a pinky thumbnail. It was floating around loose so I think that came from the hole he filled in.

You might Google microfracture and read up on it, then mention it to your doctor. My doctor did say that if the microfracture had not worked the next step would have been some kind of knee replacement.
ScrapIron Steve
RE: Thanks for the advice 2/10/2009 4:31PM - in reply to Blowing Rock Master Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I too have a grade 4 articular cartlidge loss in my left hip capsule, bone on bone. My ortho recommended these fluid shots instead of cortisone, as they are less invasive.
I am headed to Hawaii this fall for Ironman and am trying to buy time before the dreaded surgery after the race.

Has anyone had these injections into their hip, and how effective were they?

Thanks in advance.
synvisc
RE: Thanks for the advice 2/10/2009 5:47PM - in reply to ScrapIron Steve Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Or any other synthetic injection, has shown know evidence to be effective in reducing patient symptoms consistently.

Do not waste your money or your time or for that matter, waste time getting injections that risk infection.

Cortisone shots reduce inflammation but carry risks.

You can run on replaced joint. There is no evidence that they wear down more significantly, it has not been studied.
bionic 2008
RE: Thanks for the advice 2/10/2009 6:34PM - in reply to synvisc Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I wore out the cartilage in my knee. Was running bone on bone. The quality of my runs degraded significantly over time and it became very painful, even when sleeping. I tried everything, knee brace, chiropractor, drugs but nothing worked. Developed arthritis after surgery for a medial meniscus tear in 1990. Didn't help crashing my bicycle at high speed and knocking the heck out of my knee, too. End result was a knee replacement in December of 2008. My doctor (ortho) and most importantly my physical therapist,said no running. The repeated impact will eventually loosen the glue the helps anchor the device and damage the bone where the the prosthetic fits. They advised that if I ran on it, I would eventually need knee revision surgery which I do not want to have to experience as the original surgery and rehab was quite painful. On a side note, the therapists told me that because I had been a runner, the muscles surrounding the knee were in great shape and very tight, which resulted in a lot of pain as I worked thru the therapy. The people who aren't in good shape have looser muscles and it's easier(less painful) for them to start flexing the knee joint.

Can't run now so I ride a bike, work the eliptical and walk. But my knee feels so much better that I constantly think about running on it.

Hope someone else who has had a knee replacment has been able to resume running and hasn't experienced any problems. Good luck.
ScrapIron Steve
RE: Thanks for the advice 2/11/2009 8:38AM - in reply to synvisc Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
So do you have a replaced joint and are you speaking from experience? And what basis do you have for your view on Synvisc (or any other fluid repl for that matter)?

Not really worried about infection as the radiologist is good about that, I have had a couple cortisone injections, and they seem to work well but I don't want to compromise the femoral head with repeated treatments.

Thanks again!
take care of yourself
RE: Knee Cartilage worn out - dr recommends synthetic - any experience? 2/11/2009 11:40AM - in reply to BOBB Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Injections, treatments and surgeries are primarily for the benefit of the surgeons, and and usually screw the recipient up for life so s/he's not able to run any more.

Ice and ice water is as good as anything else at taking down inflammation. Be sure your muscles are balanced first, before looking at anything else. A bike can overbalance your quads and make the situation much worse, the same for a focus on running up hills. Weak hamstrings and out of balance strong quads can cause problems.

Finally, the cartilage in runner's knees is 3 to 4 times as thick as that of an average person. It gets stronger and thicker with running, rather than getting worn out. There is no reason for cartilage to wear out from "30 years" of running. Make sure your legs are balanced, your activities are balanced, and that your shoes are balanced, not tipped way in the air from the heels that would put stress on your metatarsals, shins and knees.
wow!
RE: Thanks for the advice 7/14/2009 9:10AM - in reply to Blowing Rock Master Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You were only down 2 months after microfracture? What's your secret? It's been 5 months and counting for me...
some older runner
RE: Thanks for the advice 7/14/2009 9:38AM - in reply to wow! Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I have a friend who is an MD. He is in his mid 50s and had a streak of running at least 10 miles a day for over 20yrs. He developed a partial loss of cartilage in one knee, and after investigating all possibilities, had microfracture surgery done. Within 6 months he was back to his running regimen of 10 mi/day, although at a slower pace.
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