Three weeks ago I began my journey into Hyalgan injections in both knees. My knees, well, at least my right knee, has been an absolute mess since childhood. I was first seeing doctors about the problems with it at age 10. No one I saw ever asked about other joints or examined them or even attempted to consider this could be more than a girl who has painful growth spurts (I gained most of my height younger, and at several inches in a short period of time). There was discussion with my parents at age 12 of casting my leg for several months to help my knee fuse properly to which my parents refused, so I was sent home with a variety of ace wraps and soft splints over the years which were aggravating things, if nothing else.
In my late 20s, I learned from physical exam and MRI that both knees were severely “deranged” and multiple defects were the cause of my pain. I wondered if this was also worsening my continuous hip pain and asked about hyaluronate-based injections as an option. My awesome orthopedist ordered a course of Hyalgan. He’s in agreement that we certainly couldn’t do more harm in trying this, but will it ultimately improve my mobility? Not at all. I think we’re just both grasping as straws and I’m thankful he’s willing to humor me since surgery is now not at all an option as he will no longer take that risk with the Ehlers-Danlos label now officially attached. And this is a surgeon who takes on elderly patients and complex injuries!
Ultimately, these hurt like a bitch. I’ve experienced a lot worse, but my doc says I may be the first patient who didn’t scream during the first round. I’m no rookie, people! I’m used to being stabbed somewhat against my will. This latest round was probably the worst. Some days my tolerance for this stuff is nonexistent and that’s what I think happened. I felt nauseous just watching him use the ultrasound before marking the location for injection. I wanted to roll myself right out the room! Luckily, he made a joke with his impeccable timing, and the first knee was done. Funny, though, the left always hurts a lot more. He was made aware the week before that if he hit a bad spot, his balls were going to need my ice pack more than my knees! I’m glad we were clear on this. That cocky bastard thinks he’s a god (but he gets away with it because I absolutely trust and love that sadist for some strange reason).
My knees feel like Jell-O Jigglers (do those still exist? OK, then picture the Animal House cafeteria scene) afterwards and I feel as though they may give out at any moment. Is it helping the pain? Actually and remarkably, yes! My knees are no longer toward the top of my list of complaints! But, my hope that it would take the stress off my hips hasn’t proven to work at all. In fact, my hips are only limiting my ability to walk even more so.
Two more rounds of this weekly treatment and then I can decide whether or not to attempt this again in six months or so. I asked if I could try cortisone for my hips, but he thinks I just no longer respond to it and doesn’t want to torture me unnecessarily. Much appreciated.