Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spurs, they are a janglin'

I've got a new diagnosis.  No, it's not yet another autoimmune disease.  But some of the symptoms I was experiencing, I had thought were caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

But, alas, it is not so.

Bone Spurs, that is.

For quite some time, I've had that grinding, crackling noise in my knees when I sit (wasn't all the time, though).  My understanding was that this is extremely common and called crepitus.  I remember my yoga teacher (years ago) saying that it was nothing to be concerned about.  So I ignored the noise.

At various moments over the last several years (shortly after RA was diagnosed), I've wondered if I were developing RA in my knees.  I would feel a full sensation and the knees seem to be swollen, especially my right one.  But we never really looked any further.

Last month, I was climbing up and down a ladder many, many times when prepping and painting the music studio.  (I still need to take photos and post them.  I just got the newly-framed pictures back this soon.)  I know that I put a lot of pressure on my knees, strained them, twisted them, abused them.

Since then, my knees have been hurting, especially my right knee.  It's the one which has felt wrenched.  I would take it easy, taking stairs one at a time to avoid the shooting pain, and hope that healing would occur.  The pain simply became outrageous enough that I called my doctor.

X-rays were taken of my knee and I received a referral to an orthopedic doctor in return.  Bottom line is that I have bone spurs under my kneecap.  I believe that he said the official (long) name of what I have is chondromalacia patella.  (However, I didn't write it down and have just tried to find something which sounds vaguely familiar and fits my symptoms.  I think that's what he said.)

The doctor also used another term which I didn't like to hear.  He mentioned osteoarthritis.  Dang it, early OA of the knee(s). 

The good news was that I was the recipient of a wonderful steroid injection in my knee.  The pain has diminished.  The crackling has diminished.  The joint moves much more smoothly now.   Now I kinda wish that my left knee had received the special treatment too.  It is still stiff and crackly (although not nearly as bad as my right knee had gotten). 

The advice of of the orthopedic doctor?  Ride that stationary bike 30 minutes, 3 times per week.  Best thing I could do for my quality of life as an MS patient.  His advice echoes that of my rheumatologist too.  Now, I really, REALLY, need to move that bike into a location where it is easy to use.


  1. Hi, Lisa. So sorry about your knee. I did a similar thing a few years ago -- pushed too hard during PT and had that same feeling in my right knee. My orthopdist gave me an injection of Synvas (I think that's the name) and the freedom from pain lasted for a lo-o-ong time. It was a series of three injections over three weeks, and it really worked. Then I learned that the med comes from chicken fat and I've been clucking ever since.

  2. I've had the shots in my knees, needing to think about it again. Wonderful relief, isn't it? I wish there is a way to avoid bone spurs, have a bad one in my neck area.

  3. Muff, that's good. :) You know, I believe that this first injection was simply corticosteroids. I imagine that if I need something more or again, it might be a more targeted treatment.

    The relief has been GREAT!! My knee moves, it's fluid, hasn't felt this mobile in quite some time. But I'm still being cautious with stairs and stuff cause I don't want to aggravate the joint.

    Bone spurs sound yucky to me and the fact that it indicates yet another type of arthritis (which is very common, I know) bums me out a bit. How many dx codes do I really need if all my health records were all collected in one place? I'm losing count. :)

  4. least you were able to have some relief with the steroids!!!! Poor sweetie. I'm sorry. YOU did not need this too. Well, make sure your bike seat is comfy as you will now be "back in the saddle again!"


  5. WOW--you mean we are allowed to have problems that arent MS or immune system related? lol..hope they get ya fixed up real soon

  6. Sorry Lisa, bone spurs are nasty. I had them in my right knee as a teenager, which rather abruptly ended my ballet career. I had the steroid shots, but eventually they went in and scraped the inside of the knee cap.
    Maybe you could get a laptop and stick it on the handlebars of your stationary bike !

  7. Loves my ex bike! Spurs are bad for horses too. Aunt Vi would tell you, "STOP going to the doctors! They always find something wrong."