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Knees

Afternoon all.

Hope you all had a pleasant Christmas.

I’m after some advice. I was dx with PPMS about 3 years ago. No real surprise there, I’d been struggling for a while.

Prior to that, I was a keen sportsman - football, cycling, marathon running etc.

My progression is happening, albeit very slowly, but this last couple of months I have started to struggle with my walking. The weakness is in my knees. My leg muscles feel fine, but I have no confidence in maintaining my balance due to weak knees. And the noise they make when I’m walking up the stairs!!!

Is this general “wear and tear” of the joints caused by years of sport, or is this a common occurrence with PPMS?

I don’t know whether to go to my GP, I think she might just dismiss it as as symptom.

Hello allyh38,

I was diagnosed with PPMS about 15 months ago and, like you, I had my suspicions about the condition for some time before the final confirmation.

My walking has deteriorated at an alarming rate and I do not trust my knees much at the moment, as they can buckle. Mine creak, but not too loudly. I still have some strength in my legs, but not so much on the right side. I take Gabapentin to reduce the neuropathic pain in the area from my right thigh down to the calf.

I have to be careful bending my legs to reach for something on the floor as there is no guarantee that I will get up again, especially as my balance is dreadful. Luckily, my local OT department has fitted many grab rails about the house and provided me with many aids such as a shower seat and two raised toilet seats.

I was not a keen sportsman like you, but I did enjoy cycling and walking. In my case, there is some wear and tear as I also used to do Morris dancing (what an admission), but I feel that it is the MS that is causing the drastic deterioration. I can only walk a few yards now with a stick, and I use a scooter for any longer journeys.

I cannot tell you whether MS can cause further wear and tear in the joints in addition to the myelin degeneration and its effects on synaptic transmission. It might be something you could discuss with your MS nurse rather than your GP, in the first instance. I find my MS nurse very helpful.

Keep going as best you can but do rest when your body tells you to. Pushing yourself can knock you sideways later or on the next day. You probably know all that already.

Best wishes

Alun

Hi Ally. I agree with Alun, your ms nurse is the best person to ask. I’ve never been good at sports but all my joints got a good punishing in my job as a nurse. I’ve also found that my knees give way although they don’t make a racket. I have balance issues too and have found that using a stick has saved me from a few embarrassing incidents for when my legs have given way and when I turn around or get dizzy, maybe something to consider in the meantime?

I’d be interested to hear what your nurse says if you don’t mind me being nosy - I tend to just write everything off to ms or my previous neck injury which isn’t always the best thing to do I know. So if you’d keep us posted on how you get on I’m sure there are a few of uswho’ll be interested.

Take care

Cath

I’m sure joint noise is caused by a release of fluids & is quite normal. Ive never heard of ms being attributed to joint noises before. I was dx about 8 years ago. I was a fell runner with a passion for the racetrack , yacht racing & a general action girl, according to my mates. I still have some muscle left, however my balance is appalling & puts me off attempting many daily tasks, as I may struggle to get up again. The knees are scary - I get jerk/spasm or something for a split second which can floor me. I also use Gabapentin , which does help. I think it’s one of those things you will get used to & work around it. Do whatever you can physically. Especially try to maintain your core strength. Make the most of what you have now. It’s taken me years to get my head around that. I hope you do a better job of it than me.

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