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2019 Camino Guides

Knee Issues - Solutions from Fellow Sufferers?

Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#1
On the final stretch of the CF this year, a bit before Sarria, my knee 'popped'.
Not a lot of fun and it slowed us down for the last few days.

I've finally done the rounds of the medicos and it seems I have the following.

Water on both knees. No problem that should go over time it seems.
Small meniscus tear in left knee (the one that popped) This is basically here to stay as I understand it.
So I have to lose weight and build up muscle to help it.... according to GP.

And finally grade 3 Arthritis in both knees. Bugger :(
I'm off to see some kind of specialist soon for more opinions, but ......

Just wondering how others have coped with similar issues?

Next Camino can be either 6 or 18 months away so I'd like to get myself fixed up as much as I can prior to that....
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#2
On the final stretch of the CF this year, a bit before Sarria, my knee 'popped'.
Not a lot of fun and it slowed us down for the last few days.

I've finally done the rounds of the medicos and it seems I have the following.

Water on both knees. No problem that should go over time it seems.
Small meniscus tear in left knee (the one that popped) This is basically here to stay as I understand it.
So I have to lose weight and build up muscle to help it.... according to GP.

And finally grade 3 Arthritis in both knees. Bugger :(
I'm off to see some kind of specialist soon for more opinions, but ......

Just wondering how others have coped with similar issues?

Next Camino can be either 6 or 18 months away so I'd like to get myself fixed up as much as I can prior to that....
I too have an old injury to one knee and good old wear and tear arthritis in both. I have found that yoga exercises that target stretching the knees have helped me tremendously as has bicycling. I cannot ride long distances where I am now without dealing with automobile traffic so I do 30 good minutes on a spin bicycle at least four times a week to strengthen my leg muscles and those around the knees itself. Now that I'm getting older I have to work really hard to eat healthy and keep my weight to a healthy level. Difficult for a guy that loves red meat and beer. Damn that slowing metabolism.
I also use compression sleeves on my knees. Moderate, firm compression. They really seem to help post workout and I wear sometimes if I do walks of 5k+.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#3
I also have knee issues and CAN'T cycle! But I can walk a long way. I guess you're going to get best advice from medical personnel.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 2017 or Sept 2017
#5
Synvisc injections followed by steroid injection. I’ve shredded both meniscus and was told 25 years ago to have both knees replaced. Did not do it! Walked 3 Caminos and #4 next year. As little no as I keep moving the knees keep working though at times can be painful. Good luck. Don’t immediately fall for the surgery idea.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ) ,Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )
Camino Portugese (2018 )
#6
On the final stretch of the CF this year, a bit before Sarria, my knee 'popped'.
Not a lot of fun and it slowed us down for the last few days.

I've finally done the rounds of the medicos and it seems I have the following.

Water on both knees. No problem that should go over time it seems.
Small meniscus tear in left knee (the one that popped) This is basically here to stay as I understand it.
So I have to lose weight and build up muscle to help it.... according to GP.

And finally grade 3 Arthritis in both knees. Bugger :(
I'm off to see some kind of specialist soon for more opinions, but ......

Just wondering how others have coped with similar issues?

Next Camino can be either 6 or 18 months away so I'd like to get myself fixed up as much as I can prior to that....


Well.... 21 days ago I woke from my bed and could not stand up. I had excruciating pain in my right knee radiating into my thigh. After an ER visit, XRays, then an orthopedic specialist & an MRI, I was diagnosed with a 3.6 cm mass in my knee at the anterior femoral fossa and a small tear in the quad at the terminal end. I cried for an entire day. I knew I required surgery , but it would take3-4 weeks to schedule and would restrict me from flying for 6-8 weeks after.

The diagnosis was devastating and none of the proposed solutions to remedy the pain were acceptable as my planned camino was in 23 days. I insisted on having physical therapy to strengthen my knee/leg, determining what I should and should not be doing to avoid further insult to the knee, and to make a plan for pain management. My entire family and all of my friends ( as well as some medical professionals ) thought it was insane to even think this could be done.

When there seems to be no acceptable solution, you create one. I had intense physical therapy near every day for 20 days, chiropractics to keep my lower back and hips in line while tending the knee, religiously did my prescribed home exercises twice daily, was fitted for two different knee braces ( one to use walking and one to totally support the knee to rest at day's end ), I have prescription topical gels for the pain, motrin for swelling, Arnica gel for massaging the surrounding tissues and bruising...Upgraded my hiking poles to be much more substantial...followed recommendations to bring an additional pair of light weight runners to reduce the weight I lift walking...had to have a seamstress let out the seam of the shorts on my right leg and sew in a spandex insert to accommodate my walking brace.

I'm getting on that plane in two days and I couldn't feel any more blessed and happy with the progress.

If you are determined enough to not let your knee be your demise, there are solutions! Find an orthopedist that you believe in and who appreciates your need to keep walking. Try someone who specializes in sports medicine rather than an elderly surgeon promoting joint replacements. Find a physical therapy team that embraces your passion to walk with a functioning knee. Learn what positions may cause pain or incite injury and learn what should replace those postures/steps/pivots...etc... There are many different ways to walk and take steps, many muscles that can be strengthened, many ways to reduce the pain.

I'm scheduled for surgery to remove the tumor after my return, but I'm so so so happy that this opportunity to walk as planned was not taken from me. There's power in prayer. There are miraculous results for those willing to work hard towards goals. There's something to be said from being headstrong and determined.

If you want it bad enough, you'll do it. Wishing you a successful healing solution and many many more caminos!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Arles Route (2013/2014 onwards)
#7
I had a knee replacement but last year developed more problems and was facing a replacement of the replacement. Here in UK things like knee replacements are being delayed as low priority to save money so my surgeon referred me to a physiotherapist; we are lucky enough to have a specialist knee physio at our hospital and she is a miracle worker. It's still fragile but most pain is gone and it works well.
 

MeandIan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May2018
#8
Well.... 21 days ago I woke from my bed and could not stand up. I had excruciating pain in my right knee radiating into my thigh. After an ER visit, XRays, then an orthopedic specialist & an MRI, I was diagnosed with a 3.6 cm mass in my knee at the anterior femoral fossa and a small tear in the quad at the terminal end. I cried for an entire day. I knew I required surgery , but it would take3-4 weeks to schedule and would restrict me from flying for 6-8 weeks after.

The diagnosis was devastating and none of the proposed solutions to remedy the pain were acceptable as my planned camino was in 23 days. I insisted on having physical therapy to strengthen my knee/leg, determining what I should and should not be doing to avoid further insult to the knee, and to make a plan for pain management. My entire family and all of my friends ( as well as some medical professionals ) thought it was insane to even think this could be done.

When there seems to be no acceptable solution, you create one. I had intense physical therapy near every day for 20 days, chiropractics to keep my lower back and hips in line while tending the knee, religiously did my prescribed home exercises twice daily, was fitted for two different knee braces ( one to use walking and one to totally support the knee to rest at day's end ), I have prescription topical gels for the pain, motrin for swelling, Arnica gel for massaging the surrounding tissues and bruising...Upgraded my hiking poles to be much more substantial...followed recommendations to bring an additional pair of light weight runners to reduce the weight I lift walking...had to have a seamstress let out the seam of the shorts on my right leg and sew in a spandex insert to accommodate my walking brace.

I'm getting on that plane in two days and I couldn't feel any more blessed and happy with the progress.

If you are determined enough to not let your knee be your demise, there are solutions! Find an orthopedist that you believe in and who appreciates your need to keep walking. Try someone who specializes in sports medicine rather than an elderly surgeon promoting joint replacements. Find a physical therapy team that embraces your passion to walk with a functioning knee. Learn what positions may cause pain or incite injury and learn what should replace those postures/steps/pivots...etc... There are many different ways to walk and take steps, many muscles that can be strengthened, many ways to reduce the pain.

I'm scheduled for surgery to remove the tumor after my return, but I'm so so so happy that this opportunity to walk as planned was not taken from me. There's power in prayer. There are miraculous results for those willing to work hard towards goals. There's something to be said from being headstrong and determined.

If you want it bad enough, you'll do it. Wishing you a successful healing solution and many many more caminos!
I look forward to hearing how you progress and how you cope as you go
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#9
On the final stretch of the CF this year, a bit before Sarria, my knee 'popped'.
Not a lot of fun and it slowed us down for the last few days.

I've finally done the rounds of the medicos and it seems I have the following.

Water on both knees. No problem that should go over time it seems.
Small meniscus tear in left knee (the one that popped) This is basically here to stay as I understand it.
So I have to lose weight and build up muscle to help it.... according to GP.

And finally grade 3 Arthritis in both knees. Bugger :(
I'm off to see some kind of specialist soon for more opinions, but ......

Just wondering how others have coped with similar issues?

Next Camino can be either 6 or 18 months away so I'd like to get myself fixed up as much as I can prior to that....
You can have the tear removed. I had a tear in 2002, had surgery, danced at daughter's wedding 6 weeks later. I have walked three Caminos, '16, '17, '18. Losing weight will take great strain off the knees.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#10
You can have the tear removed. I had a tear in 2002, had surgery, danced at daughter's wedding 6 weeks later. I have walked three Caminos, '16, '17, '18. Losing weight will take great strain off the knees.
Really? Doctors have told me surgery doesn't work. Can't be fixed. I'll ask again!
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ) ,Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )
Camino Portugese (2018 )
#11
Really? Doctors have told me surgery doesn't work. Can't be fixed. I'll ask again!

Again...Highly recommend you see an orthopedist who specializes in sports injury ! They are more about fixing and restoring than the common ortho who insists on joint replacements or accepting lifelong pain.

( I'm a nurse, my son is a sports physical therapist...we've seen and heard a few things...lol )
Don't give up, just align yourself with someone who understands your vision, desire, and need to keep walking @Robo
 

MeandIan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May2018
#12
You can have the tear removed. I had a tear in 2002, had surgery, danced at daughter's wedding 6 weeks later. I have walked three Caminos, '16, '17, '18. Losing weight will take great strain off the knees.
The tear is ‘debrided’ or a partial or total meniscectomy is performed
 

Jim Miller

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016
#15
On the final stretch of the CF this year, a bit before Sarria, my knee 'popped'.
Not a lot of fun and it slowed us down for the last few days.

I've finally done the rounds of the medicos and it seems I have the following.

Water on both knees. No problem that should go over time it seems.
Small meniscus tear in left knee (the one that popped) This is basically here to stay as I understand it.
So I have to lose weight and build up muscle to help it.... according to GP.

And finally grade 3 Arthritis in both knees. Bugger :(
I'm off to see some kind of specialist soon for more opinions, but ......

Just wondering how others have coped with similar issues?

Next Camino can be either 6 or 18 months away so I'd like to get myself fixed up as much as I can prior to that....
Robo, I had similar problems last year, I was 78 when I walk last year. I have two small tears in my meniscus, and used a combination of ice (when ever I could get it), ibuprofen 600mg before starting out, and Voltaren (sp?), after my shower...worked pretty good.
 

Simon B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles and Camino Frances. VDLP Spring 2019
#16
On the final stretch of the CF this year, a bit before Sarria, my knee 'popped'.
Not a lot of fun and it slowed us down for the last few days.

I've finally done the rounds of the medicos and it seems I have the following.

Water on both knees. No problem that should go over time it seems.
Small meniscus tear in left knee (the one that popped) This is basically here to stay as I understand it.
So I have to lose weight and build up muscle to help it.... according to GP.

And finally grade 3 Arthritis in both knees. Bugger :(
I'm off to see some kind of specialist soon for more opinions, but ......

Just wondering how others have coped with similar issues?

Next Camino can be either 6 or 18 months away so I'd like to get myself fixed up as much as I can prior to that....
I have recently been prescribed some stuff made from chillies. Sounds odd but it is brilliant. Pain in my kneed disappeared in a few days - https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/complementary-and-alternative-medicines/cam-report/complementary-medicines-for-fibromyalgia/capsaicin.aspx - try this link which gives some good advice and tells you what it is called.
 

Stephen F.

carpintero de Colorado
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português 2015
Via de la Plata 2016
#17
Robo,

Sorry to hear about your injury.
I walked the Camino Português 3 years ago with a hip replacement. Had a wonderful Camino.

2 years ago on the Via de la Plata I had an injury that sound similar to yours. I kept on for a couple of days, wound up in Eurense unable to walk (I could barely gimp around with the help of my trekking pole). That ended that Camino.
After I got home I went to my orthopedic surgeon, discovered I had torn the meniscus in my right knee, had stage 3 arthritis in that knee and stage 4 in the left knee. After a number of other treatments, physical therapy, etc. across over a year I got my knee replaced this January. Some orthopedic surgeons will attempt to "repair" a torn meniscus. That surgery almost never succeeds for older patients (I am 71) or patients with advanced arthritis. There is simply not enough cartilage left in the knee. I should mention that my surgeon is a sports and mountaineering medicine oriented doc. I have confidence in her. My new knee is great, pain is gone.

As for future Caminos, it is hard to know. I do know that the main thing I learned from my first Camino was to value and be grateful for every day. I wish you the best of luck.
 

Geoff1951

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017)
Portugues (2019)
#18
Really? Doctors have told me surgery doesn't work. Can't be fixed. I'll ask again!
I had a tear removed 22 years ago and have not had any problems since and I'm now 67yo. I'd definitely ask some more questions or get a second opinion. Goodluck.
 

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