Knee Problems Should I Get A Walking Stick?

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gordiescotland1 | 01:46 Sun 08th May 2022 | Body & Soul
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I have had significant knee problems over the years. It started 30 years ago when I missed 2 steps coming off a plane when I was cleaning them at Edinburgh airport. I was off work for weeks with a damaged ligament. Right knee then, 2 years later a skiing injury same ligament. Then 8 years later the first and only time hill walking I slipped coming down and my knee really swelled up I was taken to casualty and they tried unsuccessfully to aspirate it several times so they gave me a splint which was really helpful and told me to go back to another clinic 3 days later when I was given a walking stick. It took a couple of months to get better. No more problems with my right knee. Major left knee problems after a fall on a woodland walk on crutches for 3 months and a splint and so bad I had to move house from a third floor to a ground floor. No problems left knee after move. 5 years ago I was getting a lot of pain when walking GP sent me for X-ray which showed extensive arthritis not in the kneecap but in the space between the thigh, like above and below the kneecap. Now the last few weeks the pain is horrendous, I can hardly walk I have put a knee support on which helps a bit. I am at least 5 stone overweight so I know I've got no chance of getting a knee replacement if I need one. Im going to see a physio privately next week who really helped my back before. I was thinking of buying a walking stick but I know that physios don't like things like that. Do you think a walking stick would help? I take 8 cocodamol 30/500 a day because of blood thinners no way can I take anti inflammatory


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The 'official' line, as in this leaflet from the musculoskeletal physiotherapy team at Oxford Health, would appear to be not so much that you shouldn't use a walking stick but that it's important to use one that's correct for your height

So it might be best to push your physiotherapist towards ensuring that you get a suitable one.

I suspect you know what might really help best though and that's to lose some weight. (Yes, I know that it's FAR easier said than done!). I've got a friend who's a 71-year-old, severely overweight Scot. He's been struggling with knee problems for years, including seeking help both from the NHS and privately, as well as regularly attending a gym for suitable exercises. Recently though, after many years of good intentions but little else, he's finally managed to lose a couple of stone and he's seen a BIG improvement in his walking ability.
Gordie....I don't believe that being obese is a contraindication to knee replacement and I don't believe that it affects the outcome.
You need a knee replacement and in my opinion, you would benefit from one.......see an Orthpaedic Surgeon.

You are taking a substantial dose of analgesics for the pain and I should imagine that the highlights of your day is food -;)

Get an Orthopaedic opinion and a walking stick.

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