Now It's My Back
So, after two total knee replacements, I still have knee pain.
As noted before, I finally went to the sports medicine doctor who kept me going on my old bad knees for years more than I should have been able to go. He has been treating me for nerve pain from the replacement surgery for several months now.
I hit some kind of pain plateau over the last month, so the doctor had me go for an MRI of my lower back.
I've been going to a good chiropractor for years and that's always helped, but I was not surprised to find out that there is some degeneration in my spine and some issues with my discs. My sports doctor has now concluded that my knee pain may be coming from nerve pressure in my spine, where those nerves actually start in the body.
So today, instead of injecting my knees, he recommended a spinal injection. The theory is the same. The solution is not a steroid or a pain killer. Instead, it triggers the nerves that are trapped by pressure.
It was a decidedly interesting experience. There was a bit of pain, a bit of pressure, and for a while a very slight burning sensation as the medicine traveled up my spinal column. I was up and about immediately afterward, so it was no big deal--just strange.
Hard to say for sure if there are any positive results. I think my knees are less stiff and achy. Then again, is it psychological or physical? Often when you think something should be better, it actually is, so I will have to wait a few days to see if there is any real difference. Where nerves are concerned, it can take a little time for changes to set in.
None of the discomfort has stopped me from doing most of what I like to do, including riding and swimming. But having constant pain does get wearing after a while. And I still have not been able to run or do exercises that demand lots of leg use. Going up stairs is not as easy as I'd like, either. Painwise, I have not been tremendously better than before the knee replacements. On the more positive side, I no longer feel as if my knees will give out with me when I am doing things--like pushing the wheelbarrow, or unloading hay or grain. (Gee, see where my priorities lie.) So, overall, I have been much better off since the replacements.
Now, if I can just get rid of the annoying discomfort, I will be a happy camper. Maybe this new approach will do it.