Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Knee Verdict - Osteoarthritis

I liked this orthopedic doctor at the local Almana Hospital way better than the guy at Saad Specialist Hospital. The last guyistened for me for a second, touched my knee cap a little, had me move my leg to see where I felt pain and diagnosed me with tendinitis. I'm not saying I doubt that I have that. He just didn't actually try check the motion of my knee or anything much at all.

Today he moved my knee join in all possible directions and instantly said, "Yes, you defininitely have a problem!" as it cracked, popped and made awful grinding noises. Brian mentioned that my dad and brother had both already had knee surgeries. The doctor told me straight out I was WAY too young to have osteoarthritis though it fit.

He ordered an X-ray and had good news bad news from what he saw. Osteoarthritis that is medium severity on the way to bad enough for surgery. For now I do thigh strengthening exercises and walk. No jogging. I got 4 medications to use. One to lubricate the bad joints (within 4-5 months of beginning a daily dose of it), one for pain today, vitamin D (because as he said everyone here has vitamin D deficiency because they don't spend enough time in the sun) and a topical cream called No-Dolor (which means "no pain" in Spanish.

I told him I don't exercise because exercise is what causes the pain. If I don't exercise I used to feel better. He told me the brace I am wearing us weakening my muscles so I will stop that and start doing weighted exercise to strengthen my thigh and take the stress off the joint again.

My favorite question confused me at first. He asked if I sit on the floor. I had to think for a minute. Yes, occasionally I sit on the floor with the kids or something but I probed to make sure I understood and he clarified, "Culturally you don't sit on the floor do you?" As he looked at my fair Caucasian face and light brown hair. Oh! "No. I don't sit on the floor." I realized he meant did I sit on the floor for all my meals etc. But in my head I thought, "No way! That would kill my knees!!" 

So no surgery recommended for now though I still hurt every day. And sometimes I hurt a lot. It won't improve quickly, especially because I need to quit wearing the knee brace which is guaranteed to add to the pain threshold for several weeks.

I just don't know how this mid-thirties body will ever survive to old age without being utterly miserable if it started breaking down at the age of twelve. Sad but true.

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