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Ineffective cortisone injection

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Bumknee4me, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Bumknee4me

    Bumknee4me new member
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    Arthritis in right knee - all three compartments. Had cortisone injection in June and was like a kid again until October. Had another injection that month with no result at all. In fact, it feel worse. Anyone had a similar experience? It is hard for me to believe that the joint deteriorated so drastically in four month.
     
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  2. Pumpkln

    Pumpkln FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @Bumknee4me ,
    Welcome to BoneSmart, glad you joined us!

    Yours is a fairly common experience, first shot is a miracle, second shot provides little to no relief.
    Just before we left for a cruise my knee was fine when I went to bed, by the morning I needed crutches to get around. I had a TKR 3 months later.
    Yes, it an happen that fast, the cortisone shot was masking your symptoms.

    New BoneSmart members like you are in various stages of their journey to joint replacement. Making the decision whether or not to have surgery and preparing for surgery can be easier once you have done your research and know what lies ahead. Here are some tools that can help you decide what is best for you.

    If you are at the stage where you have joint pain but don't know for sure if you are ready to have surgery, these links may help:

    Score Chart: How bad is my arthritic knee?
    Choosing a surgeon and a prosthesis
    BMI Calculator - What to do if your surgeon says you're too heavy for joint replacement surgery
    Longevity of implants and revisions: How long will my new joint last?


    If you are at the stage where you are planning to have surgery but are looking for information so you can be better prepared for what is to come, take a look at these links:

    Recovery Aids: A comprehensive list for hospital and home
    Recliner Chairs: Things you need to know if buying one for your recovery
    Pre-Op Interviews: What's involved?


    Regardless of where you are in the process, the website and app My Knee Guide can help you stay organized and informed. The free service keeps all the information pertaining to your surgery and recovery in one place on your smartphone. It is intended to be a personal support tool for the entire process.

    And if you want to picture what your life might be like with a replaced knee, take a look at the posts and threads from other BoneSmarties provided in this link:

    Stories of amazing knee recoveries
     
  3. Bismitmom1

    Bismitmom1 junior member

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    Hi bumknee4me! I had the exact same thing happen to me. Cortisone injection, felt GREAT for about 3-4 months. Next one, no relief at all. It wasn't that my knee deteriorated that quickly, it's just that sometimes cortisone isn't as effective on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time around. With me, I only got one. My knee was bad enough it was bone on bone, but cortisone did help once. A year later, I had a total knee replacement (October 2) and joint pain is gone! Still in PT, but six weeks out and I'm having a lot of improvement. I'm sure one of the admins will contact you with some helpful articles, and there is one with a test that you can take to see if you are ready for joint replacement. It sure helped me feel I was ready, especially since I was feeling guilty about being "young" but feeling very broken. Read everything they give you! It will help!

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
  4. Michegon

    Michegon senior

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    @Bumknee4me Bilateral Jim here! Nice to see you got on this forum! Don't be shy and see if some of the Bonesmarties can help! Glad you got on board!
     
  5. Rockgirl4

    Rockgirl4 senior

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    @Bumknee4me Hi and welcome to the group. It's a wonderful place for advice and support. :)

    As for how fast a knee can go south, it can basically happen overnight.:hissy: My right knee has been the problem child for 20+ yrs, and I've had 7 surgeries on it. It's the one getting replaced in 5 wks. Yet, my left knee went from decent to "ready for a TKR" in a few months.

    For history, my left knee only gave me problems back in 1999 and 2001 (2 meniscus tear arthroscopies). Lefty was fine for a full 16 yrs after that until maybe 2016 when I just couldn't stand as long as i used to. Nothing debilitating though. Suddenly 9 months ago I was on my elliptical when something in lefty broke loose (a huge piece of cartilage from the top of my tibia). I felt it and immediately had trouble going up/down stairs. I avoided our basement for a week.

    After MRI's, etc. we knew there was cartilage damage and arthritis in at least 2 compartments. So in May, I had Microfracture surgery to fill in the cartilage defect with a fancy Biocartilage material, then rehabbed all summer accordingly. We're pretty sure the microfracture failed because by August, BOTH knees were so bad I could barely walk. I went from 3 rigorous lower body workouts a week to one, and within a month, I needed 3 weeks off from all exercise because the swelling was so bad. I knew Righty would complain during LEfty's rehab because she's been bone-on-bone for some time now, but I was STILL surprised just how fast Lefty went downhill, considering the surgeon just cleaned everything out 3 months before. :headbang:

    When I went to get a second opinion about pursuing a TKR for Righty (as I'm only 46), the new surgeon explained I'm hurting so badly in BOTH knees because Lefty is <<this close>> to bone on bone also, and would easily qualify for being replaced in a year or so, considering how fast she's deteriorated. He just won't touch it until one full year after the Microfracture surgery.

    So yeah---April to August was all it took to go from almost no pain (except when standing too long) to "Oh my gosh, I can't work out and can't stand more than 10 minutes." Apparently joints really CAN change that quickly, and many of us here have had similar situations.
     
  6. SusieShoes

    SusieShoes FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Similar experience? Oh yes! I had cortisone injections in both knees for several years. At first, and especially the very first injections, the cortisone really helped. No pain for months. It was wonderful. But then follow-up injections helped less... lots less. Maybe a couple weeks. And not completely pain-free, just less pain. And finally at the end the cortisone injections didn’t help at all. Not one day.

    Sometimes the placement of the injection can be “off” and the injection help less. The next injection might be more effective. Might. Usually, though, it’s just that the knee gets so bad that the bone on bone inflammation and damage is too far gone for cortisone to make better. At that point cortisone will never help again.

    Are you considering knee replacement? That is the “end of the line” treatment for an arthritic knee.
     
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  7. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Cortisone will bring down inflammation but it can't solve the underlying problem.
     
  8. Jeffntate

    Jeffntate junior member

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    I am running out of efficacy of cortisone shots too. Have you tried a SynVisc injection of hyalonaic acid, which is something like the cartilage on a rooster's crown, the red flap on the rooster's head? What worked best for me was a SynVisc shot followed up 3 months later by a cortizone shot. I'm supposed to get another SynVisc shot in December, but I am wondering if I should or proceed on to a partial knee replacement, which might be an option for me now that I lost 55 pounds of weight. Before I lost weight, no one mentioned it, but recently after being down 50 pounds, a local doctor said it might be an option for me. I also read something tonight about a mini knee full replacement, that is a total knee replacement but is less cutting, less post op pain, and better outcomes, so you might look into that option if you have multi-compartment issues. As far as I know, all problems are due to damaged medial meniscus. Mine was torn when they did arthrscopy in 2015, and they stitched up up as best they could, but told me then the cartilage had come off the bone and was just floating around in the joint.
     
  9. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    You what? A joint can deteriorate that quickly (and quicker) in four WEEKS!

    I have two crook shoulders and have been having cortisone shots every 6 months or so since around 2005! I am due for the next set on the 28th! Mind you, I have been waiting since early May for this. Got an appointment in June but the clinic was cancelled and have left messages for 'sir's' secretary for weeks ever since. But I think 7 months is enough to wait so sent him an email, giving all the dates and pointing out that after all, it's not like I was being admitted for a 2 hour surgery! I got the appointment a week later!
     
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  10. Jajakio

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    I have to add that i too had a short window of success with cortisone. First shot cut the pain in half but didnt entirely remove it. Second shot did some good but was less effective than the first. Third shot did a minor amount of good for maybe a month. Synvisc is definitely an option for some people. I'd met several people who got long lasting relief and I wanted to try it. But for me, I got a week of some improvement and then straight back to where I started. My ortho said it doesn't work for everyone.

    Knee replacement is generally considered a last resort, @Jeffntate and my 2 cents worth is a long as something else works, keep using it. There will likely come a point when you have exhausted all other options and knee replacement is the only sensible solution. In the meantime, keep researching, maybe interview a couple of surgeons to see if they think you are a good candidate. Keep losing weight if you need to. Sooner or later knee replacement will be the best option.
     
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  11. ApricotPie

    ApricotPie junior member

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    First shot was a miracle. Second shot was very good. I just had my third shot and I will see. I expect it to help some but. No miracle

    My knee went off a cliff about a year ago. So I guess is makes sense that cortisone shots aren’t helping as much since the gradual deterioration of the joint had turned into a nosedive into Heck. If the gradual deterioration had continued I probably would not have got the cortisone in the first place.


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  12. rosieNZ

    rosieNZ member

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    Hi. I have never received Cortisone shots but have lived with a sudden knee deterioration.

    I had a LTKR due to pain. My other knee was in a worse condition on xray but not really painful. Then 2 years later my knee suddenly collapsed and developed a large swelling. That was 6 months ago and I had a RTKR last week.

    My new knee is already less painful than it was pre surgery (but I am resting and not trying to use it much yet). My life had become all about the restrictions my knee dictated. Now I can see a life without those restrictions.

    Good luck with your journey. Imagine a life where you don't have to consider that knee all the time.
    Rosie
     
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  13. mature mama

    mature mama member

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    I had years of supartz shots, both knees, 5 weeks in a row. My doc does sonograph guided shots and is very skilled. I had maybe 10 sets of shots over the last 8 years with some cortisone thrown in here and there. Most times I had great results, sometimes minimal results. This past year, the shots are much less effective. It is time ... Right TKR next week!

    I say do what you can for now and give it another try. You never know what new technologies will come along before you need a new knee.
     

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