Let's talk about Knee pain. Anybody else?

ColemanKate

New Member
Mar 24, 2022
3
My story. I'm a 76 years old male, and in good health. But I have a problem with my right knee. It started about two years ago while on a camping trip. The onset was sudden. There wasn't the slightest hint of a problem before. I don't remember doing anything to hurt it. I just woke up in the middle of the night with an ache in the right knee. It was, and still is, very localized. I can put my finger right on the spot about 2 /12 inches down from the knee cap and on the inside of my leg. The ache came and went for the week I was up in the mountains. Advil generally worked to stop the ache. From my layman's research I was convinced I had a torn ligament on the right side of my right knee. Over the next couple of months the problem came and went until I decided to see a Doctor. X-rays showed that I had a torn Meniscus and some arthritis. There was talk about laparoscopic surgery to repair it, but it was decided to try injections and a brace first. I have now been getting injections and wearing the brace for 2 1/2 years. The pain has been perfectly tolerable for all this time. It comes and goes. Particularly if I step wrong out of the camper and twist the leg a bit. There will be a sharp pain, and then it goes away. There is absolutely no pain at all when I walk. I can climb hills and take a hike with no discomfort at all. But if I put my right foot wrong or twist it on a rock I feel a snapping sensation in the knee and a sharp pain for just a second or two. It has not gotten any worse in 2 1/2 years. But I'm tired of it!

So that's my story. Now here's my questions to the forum folks. Does anyone else have this problem? If so, what did you do about it. My Doctor is hinting at total knee replacement surgery. But I just don't see where it is bad enough for that. If you have had knee replacement surgery, how are you doing. Has it affected you activities while camping. How soon after surgery did you go camping? I know everyone is different, but tell me what you think and how you are doing now.
I’ve had my knee scoped twice. Not a big deal- glad to get it done and not worry about it. Knee replacement surgery will be next if I re-injure. I’m not worried about that at all- I would time it for winter so as not to lose good weather but my other half had both hips done and was kicking himself for not doing it decades ago. But also kind of glad because the products are so much better now and the surgery is less invasive than in the past. Don’t live in pain because you fear replacement joints- they are a game changer. At the very least see if arthroscopic can help.
 

McCreek

Member
Aug 24, 2015
17
My story. I'm a 76 years old male, and in good health. But I have a problem with my right knee. It started about two years ago while on a camping trip. The onset was sudden. There wasn't the slightest hint of a problem before. I don't remember doing anything to hurt it. I just woke up in the middle of the night with an ache in the right knee. It was, and still is, very localized. I can put my finger right on the spot about 2 /12 inches down from the knee cap and on the inside of my leg. The ache came and went for the week I was up in the mountains. Advil generally worked to stop the ache. From my layman's research I was convinced I had a torn ligament on the right side of my right knee. Over the next couple of months the problem came and went until I decided to see a Doctor. X-rays showed that I had a torn Meniscus and some arthritis. There was talk about laparoscopic surgery to repair it, but it was decided to try injections and a brace first. I have now been getting injections and wearing the brace for 2 1/2 years. The pain has been perfectly tolerable for all this time. It comes and goes. Particularly if I step wrong out of the camper and twist the leg a bit. There will be a sharp pain, and then it goes away. There is absolutely no pain at all when I walk. I can climb hills and take a hike with no discomfort at all. But if I put my right foot wrong or twist it on a rock I feel a snapping sensation in the knee and a sharp pain for just a second or two. It has not gotten any worse in 2 1/2 years. But I'm tired of it!

So that's my story. Now here's my questions to the forum folks. Does anyone else have this problem? If so, what did you do about it. My Doctor is hinting at total knee replacement surgery. But I just don't see where it is bad enough for that. If you have had knee replacement surgery, how are you doing. Has it affected you activities while camping. How soon after surgery did you go camping? I know everyone is different, but tell me what you think and how you are doing now.
Hi Grandpa,
i tried injection, braces etc for several years. It was impacting my camping so much I finally decided on knee surgery. I was terrified as I had never had surgery.
I am so happy with how well it went! I had a strict physical therapist that made me obey the surgeon’s instructions implicitly. Surgery was in January out camping and hiking for our usual spring journey in May. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.
no problems except I use a stretchy
knee compression sleeve for occasional (not painful) slight swelling.
Of course your mileage may vary!
if you get the surgery do Exactly what the Dr recommends as to pain management and exercise. And remember ice, ice, ice is your friend.
Best wishes, McCreek
 
Sep 25, 2021
57
My knees have both bothered me (in different ways) for more than 5 years now. I am 57. I had an MRI when my left knee first started getting bad and was diagnosed with a meniscus tear. A combination of chiro, laser therapy and exercise has kept it from bothering me very much for years now. I wear a brace whenever I go hiking and I use hiking poles. My right knee just has arthritis, and physiotherapy helped a LOT with it. It was so bad I couldn't put any weight on it at the end of 2019, and last summer I hiked and biked and camped a lot on it with no issues. I just needed to build the strength up in my muscles. I find that if I am inactive for a week or two I suffer, and I live in Canada so outdoorsy stuff in winter doesn't always happen. But as long as I walk/hike on a semi regular basis things seem to behave themselves.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
I injured my knee while playing softball in 2004. It acts up when hiking down a decline. I don’t hike often so I’ve been avoiding it when possible. The last time I was at San Diego Zoo 2021 was the worst. The bus tour was not in service. We walked all over the park going up and down the hills. That was tough. I can go up hill and my knee doesn’t hurt. Plus, I’m able to walk, jog or run. Weird, I know.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,631
Southern California
Long before I had knee problems I was doing research on old World War II airplane crash sites. One site in particular is in the American River canyon above Auburn California. It was a Military C-46 transport. It was down in the canyon and up from the water about 500 feet. From the top, the trailhead went down for about 2,000 feet. It was pretty steep at times. Going down was the hard part. You use muscles you don't normally use. It was a grueling painful hike down. Coming back up hill out of the canyon was bad, but not as bad as going downhill. Several of my friends wanted to see the site and made the hike down. They all said they would never do that again.
 

Bandit12

Member
Feb 15, 2015
10
Ok. My knee story. I'm a retired USAF Jet Engine Mechanic. I've had issues with my knees for many years. Back in about 2002 or so, I had an issue similar to yours, and was diagnosed with a torn meniscus. Had it scoped at a civilian hospital in Dover DE and was up and about within 7-10 days. I went back to see the surgeon for my post-surgery follow-up, and he told me I was at the point in my recovery where he would schedule physical therapy, but I was where I should be at the end of PT. Fast forward to about 2015. I was starting to have knee pain again and went to the VA hospital in Reno NV for it. MRI confirmed I had torn the meniscus again. Ortho doc scoped it again and when I was in recovery and awake, he told me there was zero cartilage left in that knee and that I was bone on bone. I asked then about having my knee replaced, he told me they wanted to get me to age 65 before they would replace my knee so that it would last me the rest of my life. After that surgery I was up and about in 3-4 days. I turned 60 at the end of January and my knee is starting to bother me again. I've had a few injections over the years, and they helped slightly but I'm still having issues. They told me to lose weight and I have; I've lost about 50 pounds over the last 7 months. My knee still bothers me. I think the next time I go see the ortho doc, I'm going to ask again about having my knee replaced sometime before I turn 65.
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,631
Southern California
Ok. My knee story. I'm a retired USAF Jet Engine Mechanic. I've had issues with my knees for many years. Back in about 2002 or so, I had an issue similar to yours, and was diagnosed with a torn meniscus. Had it scoped at a civilian hospital in Dover DE and was up and about within 7-10 days. I went back to see the surgeon for my post-surgery follow-up, and he told me I was at the point in my recovery where he would schedule physical therapy, but I was where I should be at the end of PT. Fast forward to about 2015. I was starting to have knee pain again and went to the VA hospital in Reno NV for it. MRI confirmed I had torn the meniscus again. Ortho doc scoped it again and when I was in recovery and awake, he told me there was zero cartilage left in that knee and that I was bone on bone. I asked then about having my knee replaced, he told me they wanted to get me to age 65 before they would replace my knee so that it would last me the rest of my life. After that surgery I was up and about in 3-4 days. I turned 60 at the end of January and my knee is starting to bother me again. I've had a few injections over the years, and they helped slightly but I'm still having issues. They told me to lose weight and I have; I've lost about 50 pounds over the last 7 months. My knee still bothers me. I think the next time I go see the ortho doc, I'm going to ask again about having my knee replaced sometime before I turn 65.
I guess my knee has been living on borrowed time. I didn't start having knee problems until i was 74 years old. I guess I'm going to have to reconsider replacement. It doesn't sound all that scary now.
 

Tonya Harding

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 15, 2018
1,801
Virginia
Gout can hit any joint.
Dang glad you put this reminder up, saved me a trip to the ortho clinic; have had gout in a toe joint the past on a rare occasion, took 3 prednisone pills & the pain in my knee was gone this morning, never knew it could be in a knee joint. Had a healthy few rounds of craft barley pop a few days ago, wife figures that did it lol
 

Dave Brick

El Cheapo Family Camper
Nov 29, 2010
228
My story. I'm a 76 years old male, and in good health. But I have a problem with my right knee. It started about two years ago while on a camping trip. The onset was sudden. There wasn't the slightest hint of a problem before. I don't remember doing anything to hurt it. I just woke up in the middle of the night with an ache in the right knee. It was, and still is, very localized. I can put my finger right on the spot about 2 /12 inches down from the knee cap and on the inside of my leg. The ache came and went for the week I was up in the mountains. Advil generally worked to stop the ache. From my layman's research I was convinced I had a torn ligament on the right side of my right knee. Over the next couple of months the problem came and went until I decided to see a Doctor. X-rays showed that I had a torn Meniscus and some arthritis. There was talk about laparoscopic surgery to repair it, but it was decided to try injections and a brace first. I have now been getting injections and wearing the brace for 2 1/2 years. The pain has been perfectly tolerable for all this time. It comes and goes. Particularly if I step wrong out of the camper and twist the leg a bit. There will be a sharp pain, and then it goes away. There is absolutely no pain at all when I walk. I can climb hills and take a hike with no discomfort at all. But if I put my right foot wrong or twist it on a rock I feel a snapping sensation in the knee and a sharp pain for just a second or two. It has not gotten any worse in 2 1/2 years. But I'm tired of it!

So that's my story. Now here's my questions to the forum folks. Does anyone else have this problem? If so, what did you do about it. My Doctor is hinting at total knee replacement surgery. But I just don't see where it is bad enough for that. If you have had knee replacement surgery, how are you doing. Has it affected you activities while camping. How soon after surgery did you go camping? I know everyone is different, but tell me what you think and how you are doing now.
Hi Grandpa Don, I'm a 61 year old physical therapist who has had bilateral total knee replacements. I treat this kind of thing a lot. Arthroscopic knee surgery is almost certainly a meniscectomy, not an actual repair. Usually a true repair is only done in people under 40 or so, and results in a 4 week period of non weightbearing. So meniscectomy is a partial removal or shaving of the torn part of the meniscus. Results vary, no guarantees. If you truly have zero pain with walking then it's probably too soon for a replacement. Stationary or road cycling may well be the best therapeutic exercise for this. The meniscus really does not heal well, it has poor vascularity (blood supply).

Pre-operatively, I had a medial unweighting brace made by an orthotist friend of mine. It was truly custom made, he made a cast of my leg and built up a replica, and then built a custom carbon fiber brace. At the time, 7-8 tears ago, it was about $800., and insurance covered 80%. It bought me a few years until the pain became so bad I opted for the TKRs.
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,631
Southern California
Hi Grandpa Don, I'm a 61 year old physical therapist who has had bilateral total knee replacements. I treat this kind of thing a lot. Arthroscopic knee surgery is almost certainly a meniscectomy, not an actual repair. Usually a true repair is only done in people under 40 or so, and results in a 4 week period of non weightbearing. So meniscectomy is a partial removal or shaving of the torn part of the meniscus. Results vary, no guarantees. If you truly have zero pain with walking then it's probably too soon for a replacement. Stationary or road cycling may well be the best therapeutic exercise for this. The meniscus really does not heal well, it has poor vascularity (blood supply).

Pre-operatively, I had a medial unweighting brace made by an orthotist friend of mine. It was truly custom made, he made a cast of my leg and built up a replica, and then built a custom carbon fiber brace. At the time, 7-8 tears ago, it was about $800., and insurance covered 80%. It bought me a few years until the pain became so bad I opted for the TKRs.
It's true that I have no pain when I walk or hike. But sometimes I feel like a little "catch" or thump in my knee, especially after doing a lot of walking, like in Walmart. And then it hurts for several hours. It's kinda like when you pop your knuckles, only there is no sound. It feels like something is moving in there when that happens. I also get an ache in the knee at night. But if I turn and lay directing on my back, the ache goes away in a minute or two. When it does hurt, I find that when I walk if I pick up my leg higher than normal it doesn't hurt. It's the craziest thing.

I know that at some point I will need Knee replacement, but I really don't think I'm at that point yet. I am seeing an orthopedic surgeon for it now. At my next appointment we are going to have a more serious talk about the Meniscectomy you mention. If that buys me a year or so that would be great. I don't want to miss out on camping this year.
 
Last edited:

Becky Roque

Member
Mar 15, 2020
52
Redlands, ca
My story. I'm a 76 years old male, and in good health. But I have a problem with my right knee. It started about two years ago while on a camping trip. The onset was sudden. There wasn't the slightest hint of a problem before. I don't remember doing anything to hurt it. I just woke up in the middle of the night with an ache in the right knee. It was, and still is, very localized. I can put my finger right on the spot about 2 /12 inches down from the knee cap and on the inside of my leg. The ache came and went for the week I was up in the mountains. Advil generally worked to stop the ache. From my layman's research I was convinced I had a torn ligament on the right side of my right knee. Over the next couple of months the problem came and went until I decided to see a Doctor. X-rays showed that I had a torn Meniscus and some arthritis. There was talk about laparoscopic surgery to repair it, but it was decided to try injections and a brace first. I have now been getting injections and wearing the brace for 2 1/2 years. The pain has been perfectly tolerable for all this time. It comes and goes. Particularly if I step wrong out of the camper and twist the leg a bit. There will be a sharp pain, and then it goes away. There is absolutely no pain at all when I walk. I can climb hills and take a hike with no discomfort at all. But if I put my right foot wrong or twist it on a rock I feel a snapping sensation in the knee and a sharp pain for just a second or two. It has not gotten any worse in 2 1/2 years. But I'm tired of it!

So that's my story. Now here's my questions to the forum folks. Does anyone else have this problem? If so, what did you do about it. My Doctor is hinting at total knee replacement surgery. But I just don't see where it is bad enough for that. If you have had knee replacement surgery, how are you doing. Has it affected you activities while camping. How soon after surgery did you go camping? I know everyone is different, but tell me what you think and how you are doing now.
I’m actually on week 10 of knee replacement recovery. I’m 57 years old. Have you tried physical therapy?
Pretty much after the injections and PT comes surgery. If you’re a very active person that would be your best bet for no pain. The recovery process is long, but I don’t have pain in the joint anymore. I had the surgery due to bone on bone, no cartilage at all. I wore a brace for almost a year, tried injections once which just aggravated the area and caused worse pain.
Everyone’s recovery is different. It’s not easy, seriously, not easy to recover from knee joint surgery. Personally if I had no pain and didn’t mind walking with a brace I might say just keep doing what you’re doing.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the surgery more please feel free to reach out!
Becky
 

tenttrailer

Art & Joyce - Columbus, O
Jul 18, 2013
3,758
Thornville, OH
Im catching up to you Don. Every day I have pain just part of getting old. My major pain is in my right ankle. It comes and go's. I can be just taking a step and get a pain that when I was younger would have drooped me to the ground. The pain will last for just one step or up to 1/2 hour of walking. I get it at least once a day.

Im not sure I want to run out and get surgery. What I have seen with other people that get this surgery they don't get the sharp pain, but their ankle begings to become to progressively develop pain when they walk to the point that after about 1/2 hour of walking they ready to stop. I will wait untill almost everytime I put weight on the ankle I get the pain before I get the surgery.
 

Dave Brick

El Cheapo Family Camper
Nov 29, 2010
228
It's true that I have no pain when I walk or hike. But sometimes I feel like a little "catch" or thump in my knee, especially after doing a lot of walking, like in Walmart. And then it hurts for several hours. It's kinda like when you pop your knuckles, only there is no sound. It feels like something is moving in there when that happens. I also get an ache in the knee at night. But if I turn and lay directing on my back, the ache goes away in a minute or two. When it does hurt, I find that when I walk if I pick up my leg higher than normal it doesn't hurt. It's the craziest thing.

I know that at some point I will need Knee replacement, but I really don't think I'm at that point yet. I am seeing an orthopedic surgeon for it now. At my next appointment we are going to have a more serious talk about the Meniscectomy you mention. If that buys me a year or so that would be great. I don't want to miss out on camping this year.
Don't underestimate a true unloading brace. It bought me 3-4 years of skiing before I finally had to have the replacements. Just don't bother with a cheap off the shelf model. True custom fit is your best bet. There is supporting evidence:

 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,631
Southern California
Don't underestimate a true unloading brace. It bought me 3-4 years of skiing before I finally had to have the replacements. Just don't bother with a cheap off the shelf model. True custom fit is your best bet. There is supporting evidence:

At my last Doctor's visit he told me to start wearing a brace. But the one he suggested I was already wearing. I just hoping that I can make it through this years camping season. If I need to have the knee surgery, I want to have it done late in the year so I could recover over the winter. At the moment, the only problem I seem to be having is nighttime ache. During the day when I'm walking around I have very little discomfort. It's almost like there is no problem at all. I just can't figure it out.
 

K_and_I

Active Member
Sep 30, 2007
100
North Central Ohio
I have had one knee and both hips replaced. Arthritis due to an accident in my youth. When I was first having pain, my doctor said to put up with it until I couldn't stand it any longer. I think that was due to my age (still in my 50's). I had injections and PT and put it off several years. The surgeries now use a robot which customizes the replacement to your exact needs. My first hip replacement was done without the robot, second with it. The pain and recovery time was much less with the robot.
If your second opinion shows you need a replacement, put it off until fall so you don't lose this year's camping season. I used a lot of Voltaren Gel (it's like putting
advil at the pain point instead of taking a pill and putting it throughout your whole system). It used to be by prescription only, but is now over the counter. It helped my a lot.
 

southern gal

Member
Jul 6, 2018
94
South Georgia
At my last Doctor's visit he told me to start wearing a brace. But the one he suggested I was already wearing. I just hoping that I can make it through this years camping season. If I need to have the knee surgery, I want to have it done late in the year so I could recover over the winter. At the moment, the only problem I seem to be having is nighttime ache. During the day when I'm walking around I have very little discomfort. It's almost like there is no problem at all. I just can't figure it out.
Well, I found out I had a small tear in my meniscus in addition to the arthritis. I’m like you - not a problem during the day but at night it’s another story at times. See about an MRI to see what’s actually wrong and if you do need surgery tell them when you’ll do it.
 




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