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Why do I get pain after sitting cross legged for sometime?

Monday, 20 December 2004
Answered by: Dr. Mathew Varghese
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Director,
St. Stephens Hospital,
New Delhi
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Q. I find it very difficult to get up after sitting cross legged on the floor for some time and am unable to straighten my legs. There is severe pain in the left knee, calf and heel. The pain subsides after some time. This also happens in the morning when I get up. I consulted an orthopaedician suspecting gout. He suggested blood uric acid test, whose value was 6.5 mg/dL. Few months prior to this, I experienced acute pain in lower back (hip joint), which made it difficult for me to sit in straight posture. I then consulted another orthopaedician who also took blood uric acid reading, which came to 6.6 mg/dL. He prescribed Zyrolic, only when the pain was acute. I had then opted to change dietary habits to reduce uric acid levels. I am a vegetarian and have given up food items like spinach, green peas and all dried peas (chick peas, kidney peas etc.) and considerably reduced lentils. After that I underwent a health check-up when blood uric acid level was 7.3. I am not on any regular medicines. Since my blood uric acid level (less than 7.2 mg/dL) does not suggest gout, what is the of my recent problem? My calcium level was 8.9 mg/dL.

A.  From your description you seem to be having early degenerative changes in the knee. Your difficulty in getting up and a pain on walking after sitting for some time is suggestive of this problem. In addition you could also be having spondylosis of the back. These are all age related changes which become acute in its transitional phase. You need to be on physiotherapy in consultation with the physiotherapist. You need to be specifically told isometric extension exercises for your back and knee. As far as your Uric Acid level is concerned, you do have your level of 7 therefore you are a patient of hyperuricemia. In an acute gout it is useless to give Zyloric. This is because crystals of uric acid deposit in the knee and even if you give Zyloric the level wont be affected. I suggest you continue with your exercise and diet control. Review after 4 weeks of exercises.

A.  From your description you seem to be having early degenerative changes in the knee. Your difficulty in getting up and a pain on walking after sitting for some time is suggestive of this problem. In addition you could also be having spondylosis of the back. These are all age related changes which become acute in its transitional phase. You need to be on physiotherapy in consultation with the physiotherapist. You need to be specifically told isometric extension exercises for your back and knee. As far as your Uric Acid level is concerned, you do have your level of 7 therefore you are a patient of hyperuricemia. In an acute gout it is useless to give Zyloric. This is because crystals of uric acid deposit in the knee and even if you give Zyloric the level wont be affected. I suggest you continue with your exercise and diet control. Review after 4 weeks of exercises.

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