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Discussion: The knee.....still and again

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June 24, 2011
lemons
Men's 65
302 posts
The knee.....still and again
After having arthroscopic surgery to cut out a torn meniscus on the interior of my knee, I expected to return to "normal". The pain from the meniscus was no longer, however I have some mobility issues with my knee (rubbing, catching, popping, a little pain, etc.) Cortisone helps the problem for about a month, but I am considering the Ortho-visc series of one shot a week for 3 weeks to see if it will help. Any suggestions based on personal experiences? Thanks, Mel
June 24, 2011
einstein
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hard to say if what's going on.
We take longer to heal when we're older
and that might be what you're experiencing.
Removal of the miniscus means some of the padding/spacing
is gone between the bones.
You might need to have to get used
to the new feeling and sounds and pain
to some extent.
Good luck.
June 24, 2011
gott2play
Men's 55
146 posts
Mel,

I've had 3 surgeries on my left knee (all meniscus/cartilage), the last being 5 years ago. I experienced pain afterward and was told that I had pretty severe osteoarthritis, was bone-on- bone and that if I kept playing I would be looking at knee replacement in a couple of years. I tried the 3 shot Hyaluronan route a couple of times but didn't find that it helped me much. I'm sure others have found it beneficial.

What seems to work best for me is taking two Aleve and at least 1500mg of Glucosamine with Chondroitin every day. I play on a 50 Major and 55 Major team, plus city leagues. I do see that you are older than me, and know nothing of your knee history, but my suggestions can't hurt.

Good luck,

Tony Baltazar
Barcelona Bandits - 50 Major
So Cal 55's - 55 Major
June 24, 2011
lemons
Men's 65
302 posts
Einstein and Tony,
Thanks for the input. The meniscus wasn't removed, just trimmed where it was torn. After 25 years of fast pitch and 20 of slow pitch, this is my first lasting injury and it's very frustrating since I used to run pretty well for "an old guy". At my age, I'm used to playing with a little pain. Tony, the Aleve and Glucosamin/chondroitin has been my salvation for a while. Again, thanks...........Mel
June 24, 2011
rightrj1
Men's 55
208 posts
Mel,

I feel your pain!!! I too have had knee issues my entire life..I wear three braces on both knees to play the game I love!! My knees have been making those sounds for years. Mine sound like a bag of chips in the morning..My 2 cents is both Tony & Joe are correct, but I would get a meniscus strap & a nice metal brace to cover the Strap..Support Support Support! Remember now that you'd had surgery your knee is weakening and I'm not a big believer in strengthen the quads or calf’s trying to make the knees better... One other thing, All those shots can't be good for your body.
!
June 25, 2011
lemons
Men's 65
302 posts
rightrj1,
Thanks. I guess what I'm really asking is, if you're used to taking pride in playing at a certain level and suddenly don't feel as if you can continue at that level, should you continue to play and risk causing other injury because of favoring the existing one? It is embarrassing to see balls fall in the outfield that you should have caught but can no longer get to. Pride is a difficult hurdle and I would miss many friendships that I have begun and developed through softball competition. Thanks again, Mel
June 25, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1983 posts
lemons-DON'T give it up. My gosh, we all are human and can't do what we used to do. You'll find that your teammates, if they are true friends, value you for your friendship and competitiveness no matter what.
I have had 4 operations on my right knee and the last one in 1998 removed all of the meniscus. Bone on bone for 13 years has put me in a position where it is a matter of time to my 5th because I have only 1 mm clearance under pressure and it has tilted forward. I was ready to do it at the beginning of the year, but decided to try huge amounts of Glucosamine and Chondroitin. My doctor said he hadn't heard of that, but didn't see where it would hurt. I take 5 pills a day, 1500 Glu, 1250 Chon. It is working well, as I have about 1/4 the pain now. I ran out for 4 days last week and could hardly stand the pain until I got some more, and the pain receded again. I am not a doctor, but this has worked for me. Good luck and DON'T GIVE IT UP!!!!!
June 25, 2011
surf88
Men's 60
876 posts
lemons- I was recently in Dallas working the Texas State Championships for Reebok. While I was there, I watched a player from one of the teams (a 55 major team I think) who had a complete knee replacement and he was running with very good speed and no obvious limp or impediment from what I could see. There are numerous quality orthopedists in this country but I have used two in western colorado who are excellent. Both are in Montrose and both have extensive experience with extreme athletes. This area breeds intense skiers, mountain runners, bike racers, etc.

If you think it wise, contact Kelly Bynum or Veneet Singh in Montrose, Colorado. It never hurts to have a talk without obligation.
Ed Andrews
Sun Reebok Sr. Rep
June 25, 2011
lemons
Men's 65
302 posts
Webbie25 and surf88,
My teammates continue to be very supportive and encouraging............it's my own expectations that get in the way. We have terrific orthopaedic surgeons in Indianapolis as well(it seems that most are interested in knee replacement, which I view as a last resort.) Sometimes it's tough to realize and face that humans have limitations that seem to increase with age and wear. Thanks guys, Mel
June 25, 2011
rightrj1
Men's 55
208 posts
Mel,
Our ego's & pride are pretty much all we have at this age! If you truly love playing, I say NEVER EVER QUIT!!!Let them carry you off the field, its a hell of lot better than getting hit by a bus..Lol
Getting Older involves Pain, there's no one that I know of that's not having some kind of pain!! Ours just happen to be knees. But to answer your question, yes it's worth it, do you’re best on the field, with what you have to work with...Or you can go play GOLF where the competition is the course!
What fun is that!!!Lol

Enjoy your Teammates & Friends, Their the ones whom you have this fun with!
June 25, 2011
lemons
Men's 65
302 posts
rightrj1,
You're exactly right. Time to stop feeling sorry for myself and get on with it. Golf's harder, too! :>)
June 25, 2011
Mr. Manassas
230 posts
Coming from a guy with two knee replacements....Don't give up!!! It still is a lot of fun especially without the pain. You may need to adapt some but you have been doing that your whole life to some degree.
June 26, 2011
hitman
Men's 65
306 posts
I've had three sets of the ortho-visc shots and they work great for me. Cortisone does nothing. After the ortho-visc I ice every day for twenty minutes and also after playing games. Mine have lasted 22 months, 24 months and 16 months, and I'm 10 months on the current set. They don't work for everybody but they sure took my pain away. I also use a Donjoy unloader brace and won't go to a game without it. Just putting off the replacement as long as I can.

The Hitman
June 26, 2011
J R
182 posts
i had the shots. 1st round lasted for 6 months. 2nd set lasted less than a week. ended up having have knee replacement.do not regret it
June 27, 2011
lemons
Men's 65
302 posts
Mr. Manassas, hitman, and J R, Thanks for the information! I'm going to schedule the series this week and see what happens. Regardless, the cameraderie is what senior softball is all about. Mel
June 27, 2011
birdie
Men's 60
683 posts
Mel, Sorry to hear that the knee is still bothering you. I hope the shots work out for you. I am back to playing and the back feels ok. Still exercising and have one more epidural to go. good luck and hang in there. Thanks Harry
June 27, 2011
lemons
Men's 65
302 posts
Harry, I'm glad to hear you're back to playing. How's the shoulder? I guess we just have to endure a little more to play "our game." Regards to Terri and hope to see you later in the year, Mel
June 28, 2011
Born to run
Men's 60
4 posts
Hey Mel;


I am a grateful for the injections - I have had my ACL replaced and then tore the miniscus on the same knee. I have had the injections six times and will get them again. My doc said it takes a few weeks for the benefit to completely take effect - I started on Synvisc and when that stopped being effective, switched to Euflexxa.

Good Luck and keep swinging!
June 28, 2011
lemons
Men's 65
302 posts
Born to run, Thanks for the information/advice. I'm going to have the Orthovisc series of 3. Is there any rest time after the injections or can you play right away? Mel
July 1, 2011
Born to run
Men's 60
4 posts
Hey Mel;

My Doc suggests that I give it at least a few days after an injection - and I occasionally listen>:) I watch to see the reaction and judge it from there. There is some swelling whenever you get these, but in a lot of cases rapid relief. I had my first of three on Tuesday and played last night with no discomfort and no swelling today.

I use a ton of ice - 20 minutes on and 20 off. If you don't mind the dorky look, try an ice pack stuffed into a velcro knee brace. It keeps the ice in place and allows me to be mobile.

I talked to my Doc about the effectiveness of this class of drugs - no surprise that the reason the insurance companies will pay for them is that there is scientific data indicating that 70% of the patients get some benefit which saves expensive knee replacements.

I am one of the happy users and wish you the best of luck.
July 1, 2011
hitman
Men's 65
306 posts
Mel,

As I and others have said do the ICE thing.
They work quicker on some and take longer on others.
My Dr said on the first set that it could be 6-8 weeks for full effect. I was good after 6 days after just the 1st shot. On repeat series I've had similar results but haven't had the swelling that I had with the 1st set.
Ask you Doc for his feelings on playing but I think you'll be able to tell yourself because the pain goes away if and when they work. You may also want to ask him about the unloader brace because it lightens the load and I believe it helps prevent additional injuries and some of the wear besides adding some stability.

The Hitman
July 1, 2011
lemons
Men's 65
302 posts
Born to run and hitman, Thanks for the great advice. A couple of my buddies have also recommended the brace, which they say helps speed the healing. How often do you ice your knee? Thanks and best wishes, Mel
July 1, 2011
hitman
Men's 65
306 posts
Mel,

After the shots I ice a minimum of 20 minutes a day every day, usually in the evening till the 3 full weeks are done.
Then I usually will ice after playing more than one game or if I notice any discomfort but mainly as a precautionary measure.
Good Luck

The Hitman
July 1, 2011
Mario
Men's 50
381 posts
Mel, I had my knee scoped for the miniscus as well. I found that I have to do real light leg extensions for high reps (15-25)and really squeeze at the top of the movement. And I do those exercises that the docter told me to do. I'm sure he told you to do them as well. Do you come to Bennies and hit on Mondays and Fridays? If you do talk to me about it the next time I'm there as well. (Dale Mayo)
July 3, 2011
lemons
Men's 65
302 posts
With the Ortho-visc series of 3, should, or will the doctor drain a little fluid first? What I've read has indicated that is prudent. I appreciate being able to draw on all of your experiences. Thanks, Mel
July 3, 2011
Born to run
Men's 60
4 posts
Hey Mel;

When I need it, my ortho does drain the fluid - and it definitely helps. If you find a good one, they appreciate that we want to extend our careers and will do everything possible to make it happen.
July 3, 2011
lemons
Men's 65
302 posts
Born to run, Thanks for the information.......it will add to my discussion with my ortho in a few weeks (when our schedules finally allow me to start the injections). All of you guys have given me a lot of food for thought, and I appreciate it. Regards, Mel
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