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right knee swelling

MissPiggy1MMissPiggy1 Posts: 31
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi everyone :H For about the past two months my right knee swells up like fluid and NOW my right ankle pain in the back of it with some swelling making it hard to walk on at times.
My problem or question is I can't find anything any place that could be the cause of this if it related to my lower back. My PA says its related part of my lumbar pains. I see a new(to me) surgeon in two weeks as my other surgeon as I was just informed yesterday is going to another surgical area. I just don't know if I'm doing more harm by continue walking and standing or just continue to "deal with it" for two more weeks.
Oh yes, my issues have always, always been on my left side. I also have spasms now on both legs.
I'm falling apart ~X(


  • Sorry to hear about the swelling and pain. I agree with Tammy to all of the above. My husband had knee swelling and he puts ice to help and he had fluid drained and an arthroscope not related to his back though but still ices and elevated his legs with pillows to bring the swelling down.

    What's your history again and where's your lumbar issues? When I was first injured with my back my left knee and lower leg and foot swelled up so much I needed a bone scan because of so much swollen soft tissue they couldn't see my bone on the x-rays.

    I use a cane to walk but perhaps a set of crutches may help with your daily activity. Take care and see your Family Dr. he may be able to help you instead of waiting 2 weeks. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hello MissPiggy1,

    I am really sorry to hear that you are suffering with knee and ankle pain. I suffer with this too and it can sometimes be VERY painful. Particularly, in the middle of the night. For whatever reason, it seems to hit me worse at night and I've been experimenting with different types of self-help measures to control the pain and swelling.

    Before I share what I have found helpful to combat the pain and swelling for me, I would highly suggest talking to your doctor about getting your knee and possibly your ankle X-rayed. Your doctor can then give you a definitive diagnosis and that's important on how you go about treating the swelling in your knee and ankle.

    My swelling and pain has been present for over a year now and just I had X-rays done a couple of weeks ago on my right knee. The findings on my X-rays were: Suprapatellar Effusion (fluid in the patellar sack or bursa sack) and Patellar Osteophytes (also called bone spurs) on my knee cap. Got some arthritis going on and I feel it in both knees... the right knee being the most painful.

    I have been experimenting with different pain control methods for my knees and some really do help. Although I consider these "safe" pain control methods, please call your doctor to make sure he approves of you doing any of these:

    1 - Can you take any anti-inflammatory medications? I was using Advil at first and my doctor recently switched me over to a stronger anti-inflammatory which targets osteoarthritis pain. It's been working pretty well on reducing some of the arthritis pain throughout my spine and joints.

    2 - Do you ever use Thermacare heating wraps? I should take stock in them, as I use all of their heating wraps for my various pain areas. What I do with the heating wraps for the knees is apply the wrap and then I use a standard ace bandage and wrap that also around my knee. You can adjust the ace bandage to your comfort level, but it helps to secure the heating wrap in the right spot you need.

    3 - Elevate your leg. I have a super comfy wedge I use to elevate both of my legs. It really does help to reduce the swelling in your legs, knees and feet.

    4 - If the Thermacare wraps don't help the pain, I will cut up a Lidoderm patch and strategically place them where my knee is hurting. The patches don't seem to adhere very long on their own, so I will apply medical tape around the Lidoderm patches and then wrap the knee with the ace bandage. (12 hours on with the Lidoderm patches - 12 hours off when using them for any area of your body).

    5 - PT - there are a couple of great exercises my Physical Therapist has me do, while laying in bed or on the couch for my knees and ankles. One is a simple rotation, when your knee has taken a break from the really bad pain.

    6 - Ice is also recommended and works great for other people. Unfortunately I can't ice my knees, as it causes me extra pain by riling up my nerves. So, I stick to heat.

    7 - Walking in warm pool or sitting in a jacuzzi. This is a goody for me.

    8 - TENS unit. I was prescribed a TENS unit a couple of weeks ago and it has helped TREMENDOUSLY with my knee pain. Truly amazing. I keep it going pretty much 24/7 and I love it. It somehow "distracts" the intense knee pain. It also has helped some of my other pain areas, so the TENS unit is my extra special buddy. I actually have named it "Buddy". :)

    9 - If you can take hot baths with epsom salts, I think that would feel really good. I can't take baths anymore (my body won't bend down that far yet), but there is a jacuzzi/whirlpool at the gym I use and it has several seating areas that work for me.

    10 - Try sitting in chairs or couches that are high off the ground. The lower the chair or couch is, the more pressure you put on your knees when trying to stand up. I've sunk down in a couple of couches when visitin friends/family and each time I go to stand up, my right knee "crackles" and induces swelling.

    11 - Draining the fluid. My doctor can do this for me, should my swelling get really bad and my self-help measures fail to work.

    I hope you can get some X-rays soon, just so you can get a diagnosis and know where to go from there. Try to avoid anything that seems to aggravate your knee swelling and pain.

    Best wishes to you and please let us know how everything checks out.

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