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I Have Osteoarthritis In Both Knees

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renegadefm | 20:05 Wed 12th Jun 2024 | Body & Soul
13 Answers

Not sure if anyone can help or advise, but I have osteoarthritis in both knees. 


My right knee is severe osteoarthritis, and my left knee is supposed to be only mild osteoarthritis. 


But the past 5 weeks my supposedly mild knee is the one giving me the most pain and stiffness. It's even swollen, but all the doctor told me to do is take pain killers and elevate my leg. 


Problem is I can't rest it as I work full time, and life has been hectic recently as Dad is in hospital and I've had to take Mum to see him daily amungst other daily chores.


But my point is why would the mild knee be giving me the most grief, when my severe side is fairly pain free, it doesn't make sense. 


Any help would be great. 



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How long before it is expected to not play up ?

Doctor's note to be off sick ?

Probably because you've been putting more weight on it for years and it's become a habit.

You've been more hectic recently and using it more than usual

Barry is probably right.  I have it in both knees, have had 2 hip replacements because of it and recently had 1 hip repair.  I also have it in my lumbar region.

If one leg (knee) hurts, you place more weight and stress on the other until in the end that complains.  Sorry, wish I could give you good news, but it won't get any better.  

Both my knees now need replacing - but after the recent hip job I am apprehensive to say the least.

Try knee supports (I find they 'run up') and stuff like Deep Heat to postpone the inevitable.  Good luck. 

I am exactly in the same situation as you.  My left knee is "supposed" to be the severe one, and I have an NHS brace for the left knee, to help me to walk.  

But in recent months, it is the right knee that has been giving me most pain  (I am trying to persuade my medical centre that I need a brace for the right knee as well).  

Unfortunately, I cannot answer your question about why your knees (or mine) might be changing in relation to pain experienced.  All I can do is sympathise and say I feel your pain - literally.  

My husband has a similar problem. Maybe time to have knee replacements. I keep telling Husband that, but he's reluctant/refusing. 

I also have it in both knees. My orthopaedic dr. told me not to have replacements yet, she says there's always the risk of infections and also there's no guarantee. I have lost 15 kilos slowly over the past year and honestly I can say the pain is less. Trouble is my clothes are too big now ! 

Question Author

When I was first diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in my right knee back in July last year, I wasn't aware I even had it in my left knee. 

Then I had an xray for the left knee back in January as I started to develop some slight pain, and it showed I had mild osteoarthritis also now in that knee. 

But oddly enough I discussed with my doctor would I need a new knee or any kind of treatment, but he said no not yet as your not classed as bad enough yet. But that was January. 


I'm actually worried that sooner rather than later I won't be able to carry out my roles at work. 


Things seemed to have got very painful and stiff in the past 5 weeks or so, plus after a 12 hour shift it swells up around the knee. 


Weirdly the severe knee is fairly pain free, which is the thing I find odd. 


I did read somewhere online that sometimes what happens is cartlidge tries to re-grow, but not in a good way, it can grow in such a way that it can cause stiffness and pain, so I'm wondering if maybe that's what is going on in the supposedly mild knee.


Sometimes if I turn slightly awkwardly, my goodness the sudden lightning strike of pain is unbearable, it feels like my knee is going to break. 


Yet the doctors say I'm not bad enough to warrent new knees yet, especially as they warned me a new knee typically lasts only 10 years, and as you get older it becomes a larger operation each time, so I'm 55 now, if I had new knees now I would need them done again at 65, and so on. 

So that's probably why they are putting off any new knees for as long as possible. 


In hindsight I started to have pain in my severe side in my late 40's but the pain would come and go, so I didn't do anything about it. But an xray last year highlights severe osteoarthritis. I was shocked really.

I'm not sure what a typical age is to develop osteoarthritis, but to me late 40's seems a bit young. 

I had my 1st hip replacement dure to severe arthritis (bone on bone) when I was 54.  The surgeon said that he had had similar patiends as young as 28.

^^^^ 'due'    ^^^^^^^^^^ 'patients'.

Question Author



My God 28 seems too young to get arthritis.

I assumed arthritis is brought on by wear and tear. How can anyone be worn out at 28? Should be in the prime of your life.


I was shocked when the doctor said I got osteoarthritis in my knees, let alone severe in my right knee. 


The biggest mystery to me is my severe knee is almost pain free, and works fine. Yet my mild side is causing agony the past 5 weeks or so. 


All the doctor said is put an ice pack in it, and elevate it. But how can I do that, I work 12 hour shifts, and have a busy lifestyle? Only rest it gets is in bed at night, well actually that's not always true as I sometimes work night shifts, and sleep during the day.


The joys of getting old is no joke is it? 

i had both knees and both hips replaced before i was 37 (first one when i was 32)

it does happen

Mine take it in turns to be dreadful, even though they are different medically. Sometimes it can hurt more if you have loose cartilage. Once that cartilage is gone, it often doesn't hurt in the same way.

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