About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

10 comments on “Bone Marrow Edema in the Knee

  • I am in need of a knee replacement due to OA my knee is severe and my weight is way over what is allowed for a TKR. I have severe calf pain and i mean severe to the point where the only partial relief I get is from Percocet and bedrest.. I have bone marrow edema and am wondering if I would be a candidate for subchondroplasty and or PRP injections until I am at a better weight. I am in a catch 22 situatrion as i am unable to exercise to the degree needed to lose the weight but can’t go on with this severe pain. The pain I have in my calf pulsates down into my foot at time and is something that takes your breath away it hurts so much. I have known bad pain in my life but nothing like this. Help Please??? I am unable to take NSAIDS due to kidney issues. (stage 2) Thank You!

    • Michelle… All I can say is it is possible. I would need to see you, and your imaging studies.

      Howard Luks

  • I got my knee twisted in starting of december 2013, leading to extreme pain, which later subdued by taking medicines..now its been 6 months but my knee still hurts when I try to do any strenous activity like jogging, climbing stairs without wearing a knee cap..I got a M.R.I of my knee which says..Subtle Marrow Edema seen in lateral femoral condyle anteriorly… can you please suggest some treatment or about this injury..Thank you!

    • It depends on why the edema is there. It may be part of an arthritic process, or the result of an injury — or even a combination of the two.

  • I started having knee pain 6 months ago and was diagnosed with BME 3 months ago. I never suffered from arthritis pain in my knees previously but do have pretty severe osteoarthritis in my hands. I am now having calf pain that gets severe after any activity -even a shopping trip seems to increase the discomfort. Is this calf pain due to the BME or as one doctor suggested, I am probably stressing muscles because my irregular gait. My orthopedist seems to think that time, ice and exorcize is all that is needed. I’m beginning to doubt this assertion.

    • HI Pat… It is sometimes hard to prove whether or not the BME is the source of your pain. Only a good exam can help. I’m sorry I won’t be able to comment further.

      Howard Luks

  • What can be done about chronic subcortical bone marrow odema? i have had three bouts in 2 years and everytime I go off the crutches it comes back again? I do have rheumatoid arthritis.It is very painful.
    kind regards

    • HI Natalie… It depends on whether or not your exam shows that the edema might or might not be the source of pain. A procedure called a subchondroplasty might help alleviate the pain if you and your surgeon feel the pain is coming from the bone itself, and not the joint.

  • I just had the procedure done 2 days ago and am curious about the recovery. I have previously had 6 surgeries on this knee, including a lateral release and micro fracture 2 years ago. The pain associated with this is worse than anything I have ever had following previous surgeries. Is that because they drill into the bone? How long does the extreme pain last? This is my Dr’s first so he really can’t answer my question. Thank you in advance for any help with this.

    • It does vary for many Andi. Most have pain for a few days to a week, and then an ache that tends to subside over the next 3-4 weeks. The pain is usually due to the pressure of having the injection placed into the bone. The holes are typically not the issue.

      Good Luck !
      Howard Luks

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