chronic knee pain
November 13, 2008 4:40 PM Subscribe
My husband has been seeking treatment for chronic knee pain (both knees) for a couple years now.
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
His GP, who rarely spends more than 4 minutes talking to him, has:
-- prescribed Tylenol 3 and ice, which do alleviate the pain
-- taken x-rays, which showed nothing wrong
-- decided that the muscles around the knees must be weak and sent him to physiotherapy, and the exercises they gave him have had no effect after several months
-- told him to go to an orthopedic surgeon
My husband feels like the doctor has no idea what is wrong and is just grabbing at straws. He says the pain, while bad, is not serious enough to require surgery and therefore does not want to see the surgeon. He also doesn't want to have x-rays again because he's already had them once. He feels the whole thing is a waste of time, but neither of us can come up with a better idea, besides doing nothing, which means living with the pain. He's very busy with work and doesn't have time to spend half a day in an orthopedic surgeon's office, only to be told they can't find anything wrong or want to do surgery that he doesn't want.
The knee pain started after he became mostly sentient, following a couple years of good fitness where he was weight training regularly. He ran track in high school. He is now 40 and weighs about 180 lbs., approx. 6' tall. He has orthopedic inserts in his shoes after a large corn (or something; a big lump on the ball of his foot) was causing him to walk funny, which combined with muscle weakness likely started the knee pain.
Is there anything else he can do? Changing GPs would be risky, because he might not be able to continue getting the Tylenol 3. Doctors around here are extremely paranoid about prescribing narcotics, and some refuse to do it at all. His current GP gives him the hairy eyeball every time he asks for a refill. Is the orthopedic surgeon really an orthopedic specialist, able to explore the problem more fully and offer alternatives, or are they strictly focused on surgery (i.e. the advice would be either "surgery" or "not surgery")? Why would he need a second set of x-rays? Would rigorous strength training in the legs help?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
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