Knee News

Monday, 5 October 2009

So I went to an or­tho­pe­dic guy at MetroHealth to talk about my chronic knee trou­ble. He was the sports med­i­cine or­tho­pe­dic guy, a com­pet­i­tive cy­clist and triath­lete. We had a good chat. The ini­tial x-rays on my knee showed a good amount of car­ti­lage which was promis­ing news. Dr. Schaefer still gave me an ex­am­i­na­tion and told me that my left patella and left an­kle were both very loose joints. I agreed with him and told him about my his­tory of turn­ing the an­kle and both patel­lar dis­lo­ca­tions. The good news from this is that as I age and my joints stiffen, these joints will be­come less wig­gly. An “ad­van­tage” of ag­ing. In the mean­time, I’m to con­tinue rid­ing my bike and be­ing as ac­tive as I want, ig­nor­ing the pain and let­ting any swelling be my guide to over-ex­er­tion. More good news.

He de­cided to take an­other x-ray from a dif­fer­ent an­gle, to get a look in be­tween my patella and knee joint. This was done promptly and it was dis­cov­ered that I have a menis­cal os­si­cle, ba­si­cally a loose chip of bone float­ing around in there. That’s what’s likely been caus­ing my pain. There’s noth­ing to be done apart from try­ing to make my legs even stronger (and go­ing to a phys­i­cal ther­a­pist to get some ex­er­cises) and start tak­ing glu­cosamine sul­fate (not chon­droitin) to im­prove my joint health.

I was leery of the glu­cosamine stuff since it costs the earth, but the doc­tor sug­gested I get it from… Wal-Mart. I was even more leery of this, but my knee hurts so much I went shop­ping. At Walgreen’s a two-month sup­ply of 2,000mg glu­cosamine sul­fate would cost me $120. It was about the same at Rite Aid. Target doesn’t carry it. So I went to Wal-Mart. I got a three-month sup­ply of 2,000mg glu­cosamine sul­fate for $13. It was al­most worth the near ago­ra­pho­bic melt­down that Wal-Mart en­gen­ders.