Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not the Bee's Knees

Source: misinstitute.com

Today I saw the rheumatologist, a nice older and very religious Muslim gentleman. Out of respect, I did not shake his hand. Though very business-like, he took the time to carefully look at my x-rays, examine my sad knee, make some suggestions/comments and answer my questions. Of course, I had more questions once I left his office, but that's normal and in fact, I left the office feeling I knew a lot more than when I had entered.

I was suprised to learn that my problem is with the kneecap, which is not tracking properly. He asked me to bend my knee while he tried to hold the kneecap in place, but was unable to do so. This means that even if I got a super-duper, massively expensive knee brace, it would not really do the trick. Ultimately, I will need either to have surgery to reposition my kneecap, or put in a shiny new one.

In the meantime, the doctor thinks I should give visco-supplementation a try. He has suggested a product that has been authorized for use in Canada and in Europe, though not yet in the States. It's called Durolane and it only requires one shot, as compared to several for Synvisc. There's no guarantee that it will work and it could likely be a very painful procedure, but I'm seriously considering it. I have to find out if my husband's insurance will cover the product. The doctor's time is covered by our provincial health care system. We can afford to try it, even if we have to pay out of pocket. I just have to make the decision.

All I want is to be able to hop on the elliptical trainer a few times a week. I'm not asking for too much. It would be awesome.

Has anyone heard of Durolane? Any comments?


  1. Hi Wendy. Never heard of not shaking hands out of respect ... never met a muslim who preferred not to shake hands. Esp when he is going to be examining you anyway.

    Sorry I can't contribute anything about knee treatments. Only one shot - but how long does it last?

    Bearfriend xx

  2. My MIL had Synvisc and it offered her some relief. She expected nothing more as her knees are so arthritic and she's 90 years old. She never mentioned the discomfort of the therapy.

  3. Bearfriend,

    The shot is supposed to last six months, but it takes from 2-6 weeks to show any results--IF it works.


    Thanks for telling me that your MIL had no pain. I'm not really a chicken, but I don't relish the idea of a painful treatment.

  4. I've never heard of it, but I am so sorry that you are having these knee problems. I'm glad that you have a proactive doctor who is trying to help you without surgery!

  5. I had the Orthovisc injections. Not sure if that's similar to what you'd be getting. It's Hyaluronic acid. It burned like hell getting the shots and continues to hurt like hell. I had the shots 4 weeks ago. Can't tell if there is any improvement yet. Doc said that it usually doesn't hurt. Hope I was the exception!

  6. Sorry I can't offer anything from the human standpoint... I use a lot of intra-articular as well as IV inj's of hyaluronate in horses. [intra-articular inj's for therapy, IV inj's prophylactically] Nobody complained about painful inj's, but then again horses are pretty stoic ;-)!
    [I'm tempted to jab myself since I have chondromalacia of R kneecap]