Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Knee Swelling creating numbness?

Thursday, 08 Jul 2010 02:50 PM


Question: My son is 46 and has been an OTR driver since 18. Both knees are swollen and extremely painful. He has been told there are bone spurs, arthritis, and a torn ligament which "healed wrong." In addition, when the knees swell, both legs go numb. They say surgery is not an option. They give him cortisone shots which do nothing. He is going to be in a wheelchair soon. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Without more details I am afraid I have little to offer aside from sympathy. Knee swelling sufficient to cause numbness is very significant, and aggressive treatment is indicated, since obstruction of venous return and stasis changes in both legs are almost inevitable with swelling to this degree.

This man is a grown man perfectly able to seek orthopedic and rheumatologic consultation. Assure yourself he is seeking proper consultation, and go with him on his next visit. If you are allowed to attend with him, line up the questions in writing ahead of the visit and consider giving the doctor a copy of your questions in advance of the visit so sufficient time can be allotted for both of you. Ask questions regarding the cause, the tests to support this, the present treatment plan and the expected future treatment plan. Once armed with this basic information, THEN seek alternate consultation if you wish. Good luck, and let me know of your progress.

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