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Getting Knee Injections Tomorrow Morning! Anyone else here had this done?

I know this is a spinal forum so I hope my questions about my knee is OK to post.

I fell Thanksgiving Day went to ER, tests show I am bone to bone on my left knee. My left side is the side most effected by my back injury.

Tomorrow I am getting some type of injection in the left knee. I have no clue what type or any idea what to expect. The PA did say something about steroid shots and/or maybe a "filler" injection.

Has anyone here had this done that can help me out?

Can I drive myself home afterwards? Is it horribly painful to have done?

Will this effect how I walk and make my new "normal" way since back injury of walking different?

I am soooooo clueless ! :puzzled:
L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.


  • PS: tests show bone to bone, bone spurs, DBD, severe arthritis all in left knee and some word that begins with a C I keep forgetting to dig up......

    Injections tomorrow are to hopefully help me with pain and to be able to bare weight until knee replacement surgery after Christmas..

    PS: I should have posted this earlier today. I may not get any responses until after it tomorrow lol
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Is the C word chondrosis possibly. Did they do a MRI or just plain films? I had plain films at first to find the patella syndrome and the loss of space, but the next set revealed a lesion which they needed to be graded with a MRI. Which the MRI gave the better picture and then onto a CT scan to see the bone more clearly. I just had another knee injection yesterday which was Supartz and then prior to that I had synvisc, which unfortunately I had a reaction to that one. Synvisc is the stronger of the two and takes less numbers where as supartz is done in a series of 4. According to my pm doctor when I asked the long term prognosis on the injections. He stated the idea is to slow the progression down, as I am in a situation of having it severe in both knees and knee surgery is out for me, as crutches would be very hard to navigated given my spine/arm issues. He stated the injections work in about 7 out of 10 people, in his experience. But it should take till about the 2nd or 3rd injection for me to get real relief. Sense I don't want knee surgery we are giving this a go. When the synvisc was put in they did add a steroid injection, but my pm doc said that is contra indicative to add steroids to those injections as it breaks down the drug. They were in two different needles, though. So I have no idea whom is right. The synivisc my ortho surgeon put in. I will say the night before the injection of synvisc i had been up all night in severe pain to the point the ER was on my mind and taking another pain pill wouldn't have helped it. So I think the steroid was to help with the deep bone bruise.

    Now I am not sure of your condition. Mine is a situation there is no cartilage left and the patella tracking doesn't exist so every time I move it actually bruises my femur bone from the cap not being able to glide. The noise my knees make is clear, but noise is not a problem unless it is painful. I finally hit the point with my knees completely giving on me from a standing position or going up and down stairs. One of them has a lesion in it which was graded at a 4 which that is the one when i climb(stairs), gives because I can't pressure it. I do also have bi-lateral braces and recently completed some more therapy to learn taping to help at night time. I could sleep in the braces but they are very uncomfortable and the tape is much easier at night, but grrr on the removal. Just make sure if they offer it, your fresh shaven. I have also used the gel voltaren and it helps, but sense I am under fusion I can't have it right now.

    If there is anything I can help you with don't hesitate to pm me. Hope it all works out and you get some relief.
  • My ortho surgeon has offered this. I had knee surgery 5 years ago to clean up the miniscus. I also had a shattered knee cap which he cleaned up as much as he could. I'm sure that has spurring all over it since I seem to build up scar tissue quickly.

    Only thing that has held me back from trying this is being able to drive. Mine is my right knee. Tamtam what was your experience with driving? Also how long do they expect it to last?
  • I actually drove myself there and drove myself home and had it put in bi-laterally. The reaction didn't occur till a few hours latter and the reaction was i had fallen asleep from being up in pain all night long and when I awoke both legs I could hardly move and the knees were locked. The actually severe difficulty in walking was worn off by the next morning. But good news is, that feeling wore off a little bit more and more over time and was gone by the fourth day. So I am not allergic to it at all we just thought of trying the supartz to see if it would do the same thing. Sense it is day two I can say I didn't get the same effect at all, a little but not bad enough to keep me down, so to speak. I was actually back at my pm doctor for a lumbar injection today, and had no difficulties with my knees as far as the injections go.
  • Ms. Egg,

    No, it's not painful. Yes, you can drive yourself home. :)

    I had a Synvisc injection before my total knee replacement last April and all I felt was some pressure and that was only for a few minutes. Synvisc is one brand name for one of the "fillers" which the PA mentioned. It introduces a "cushion" in the joint which is supposed to give a little room in the joint but after having one injection I researched it online and found that if you're bone-on-bone, as I was, this type of injection is helpful only approximately 50% of the time.

    Once you are bone-on-bone in a joint, anything they do in the way of injections is only a stop-gap measure which may or may not buy you a little time. The one and only sure treatment for such a knee is a replacement. This information helped me make the decision to skip the injections and just go ahead with the replacement while I was still feeling relatively good. I decided there was no merit in walking on the knee for another year and ending up in awful pain. It wouldn't change the treatment, it would only put me in a more deteriorated condition for the surgery.

    Some things to think about...


    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • Before I had both my knees replaced I had both my knees scoped a couple times. Them I had numerous cortisone shots. When the cortisone shots stopped working I had three sets or three Synvisc shots in both knees. The first set of 3 Synvisc shots lasted about 6-7 month months. The second set of Synvisc shots lasted about 3 months. The third set lasted less than a month before the horrific pain returned. That is when I opted to have my knees replaced.

    I drove home after the Synvisc shots. No biggie. The gel really hurts when they inject it but it only lasts a minute.

    The shots are done in a series of 3. You get the first shot and then return one week later for the next and then one week after that for the third. It is a thick gel which replaces the synovial fluid which is missing because of the loss of cartilage.

    Send me a PM if you want to discuss it further.

    Between the cortisone and Synvisc I was able to delay my knee replacements by a couple three years. To me that was well worth it. Does your insurance cover Synvisc? It is about $700-800 per series per knee.
  • Thank you ALL so very much!!!
    I am really unclear what I am "walking" into this morning as it is a rather "emergency" type treatment being as I can no longer bare weight on that leg/knee.

    I am leaving in just a few minutes and hopefully will be able to update when I return.

    Why do so many of us spine people end up with such serious knee issues?

    I was very surprised to get this number of responses from knee patients.
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I've had both Synvisc and one with an "E" that I can't remember, same stuff, just a slightly different formulation as I started having a reaction to the first (that is not something you should have to worry about, I just seem to have a very low tolerance for taking some things long term).

    I drove myself there and home, and a few times, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things on the way home.

    First they numb your knee (you should ask for this if they don't offer it... every little bit helps!)

    I've had a series of 3 shots in each knee over 3 weeks for the last 3 years! (I should play some 3's!) :D They aren't always the most comfortable thing to have done, but the immediate feeling is usually one of a kind of pressure from the inside. It "can" get swollen, hot, sore... but other than when I started reacting to the first formulation, I had no real issues with it.

    I will tell you how I know it works, as sometimes I'm in such pain from everything else that I wonder if the shots are worth the time...

    AFter I've had the shots, I can put my knee down on the bed and get in. I don't have to sit, scoot back, lift one leg, then the other and try to arrange myself. I KNEEL on the bed and poof, I'm in!!!! That feeling usually lasts for me for about 6 months, just in time for the next round ;)

    My suggestion would be to try them... it can't hurt (much... you are getting shots after all :p) but it Could help lots! For me, it is one less thing to hurt in the morning or when I am at the store. I only wish I'd tried them back in the late 80's/early 90's when my old knee guy mentioned them... it would have saved some wear and tear and some painful days! (he used to say, they'll either help or they won't... bleh)

    i hope you are feeling fine when you get in, and that you start to feel the benefit from them quickly!
  • They are all derived from chicken. Just an FYI. So if you are allergic to chicken you can't have the shots.
  • Thanks. I am home now. Had injections. The Dr said one of the worst knees they ever saw :(
    I have to stay off my leg for 48 hrs as much as possible. Going to lay down for a bit. I have more new knee info I will share later today.

    Thanks again everyone :)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Have they scoped your knees yet to clean them up???
  • Teddy - was told today that is not a option.

    The long term knee update is that both knees must be replaced SOON. There is NO knee cap left in either knee. However the complex part is that somehow a spinal nerve got caught up in the bone spurs in the left knee. Surgery may worsen my back injury. I am to seeing specialists in Pittsburgh & get a LOT of tests. My other given option is to set my but down in a wheel chair. Shot was OK. but now I am in a LOT of pain in the knee :(
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • hope you have a good consult with the specialist, seems like you gotta finally go for it, you no if you have the replacements soon, the quicker that nerve will be freed, just my thoughts as obviously i dont no all the details and im not a surgeon

    but i just want to send you some encouragement from another that has put things off way too long, i do understand.
    read up on that info, see what you think , yes
    take care of yourself
    do you know how the knee replacements could impact as you say on your spine?
  • Good to hear they are going to run additional test. What type of testing did they do already? Just curious how they found a spinal nerve issue in the knee? Is it the sciatic or the common peroneal nerve? Is it a spinal nerve that branches off and is compressed at the knee? Did they say what type of other test they will be performing? Just asking all of that as I havea nerve entrapment in the knee and have been to a plastic surgeon to discuss a surgery, but due to my spine issues that surgery went on hold. Kind of working from the top down approach, to see what will reduce the pain the most. Did they make any mention of over pronating that could be causing your issues or test for it?
  • Just wondering how you're feeling today, do you have the relief you need from the injection? I hope so!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Just a quick note hoping that you're feeling a bit better today! You might want to try a little cooling to help with the knee pain.... for me, in the days right after the shots, the pain from a pressure kind of feeling is way up there. It's kind of hard as my legs and knees always hurt, but try maybe a hot water bottle filled with cold water? Ice might help too, but sometimes, ice can hurt too, so cold water can be cooling enough.

    take care and hope you are feeling much better soon!
  • Responses:

    Flower - The effect it will have on my spine is the unknown part of this. I agree I can not keep waiting.

    Tamtam - the thought is that it is a spinal nerve that is trapped behind the knee in a bone spur. It does not feel like the sciatic. However at this point most of this is being talked about based on how I feel, what the leg/knee is or is not doing and its functions.

    Kelly - I am not sure really if it helped or not. I told someone else that maybe it is as I might be in worse pain if I had not gotten it - not sure. At least it is not worse.

    Clandy - anything cool/cold is my enemy as it increases my pain BIG time.

    Update: I go from walking with 1 cane just as the knee will not hold me any more, to walking with both canes as the knee just buckles and buckles. pain wise I can go from a level 4/5 to a OMG for unending hours.
    Last night it took me over 5 hrs to get to sleep as the pain was super bad. Night time and when laying down is the worst - it seems.
    I am trying to get a script filled for Lidoderm patches. My insurance is giving me grief as I am on the Fentanyl patch already. So Drs office is trying to get a authorization for me.

    A frustrating part of this is, the Drs office is "forcing" me to get the filler injections before we go through with surgery. They KNOW I MUST have this done, yet will get every penny from insurance before we move forward..........GRRRRRRRR!

    I have a friend who had both her knees replaced by the Football team STEELERS Dr who takes a few cases a year from us common people. I think I may try to get in to see him soon and stop the game. I just want this over and the healing to begin.
    Walking like I am now only increases my back pain - ya know :(
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I am so very sorry that you're in such pain:( Not to mention them making you do it anyway.... it makes no sense-generally,you get them to avoid surgery for a bit. If you are scheduling the surgery, it makes no sense for you to have em!
  • HD,

    I am with Clandy on doing the injections it is done to avoid surgery, which I am trying every possible thing, at the moment. Surgeon even ordered me some new braces to maintain a degree on the brace, so I can't get a full extension. I am also hoping once my neck fuses that going back on mobic will calm lots of things down, for me including my knees. Do you know what substance they used for the injection. Synvisc has a newer more powerful injection that only needs one every three months, which is the one I had the reaction to. So if your counting on surgery maybe you could check into that. Have they run a Mri yet?
  • Hey there. I had a surgeon in Pittsburgh too, and he was one who worked on the pros as well...maybe we are talking about the same guy huh-lol? If so, remember, those surgeons get those sports guys out to play fast & furious, injections and pain meds, whatever it takes to keep them in the game. The players don't think about their long time conditions or pain in the same way that we do, and I'm fairly certain my surgeon didn't think of it that way either-(in retrospect).

    Not that he wasn't a good surgeon (he was), but honestly I'm suffering now and was sucked in by his.. I don't know, I guess I thought he was great, but now I wonder if I should have looked around more. At the time I think I got the best cutter that I could, considering my options, now that I'm a bit older I would not have chosen a sports surgeon, but that is only my opinion.
    I hope you are having a good night.
  • Thanks Robin. I did not even think to think of a sports Dr this way. wow! Much appreciated :)
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
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