Suspected Inflammatory Arthritis.

Rhyscous Member Posts: 50
edited 11. Jul 2011, 18:09 in Young people's community

I am 16 years old, 2 years ago i was playing football and i injured my foot, i left it for about 2 months thinking it was a sprain, the pain just semmed to be getting worse, so my mother took me to the doctors and the doctor could see how swollen it was and suspected that i had broken/fractured my ankle, So i had my X-Rays and there was nothing there, i was told i damaged my ligaments and was sent home on crutches for 1 week, i came off crutches and for about 2 days the pain was gone, the pain then came back again and never seemed to go, I was referred to a Sports Injury Doctor and my general hospitsl who sent me off for a MRI scan, The MRI scan came back clear but showed intense swelling around the joints, I was then referred once again to a Surgeon who was also at my general hospital, we had at least 6 appointments with him, The NHS has really messed us around these last few years, finally he sent me off for a CT scan which also came back clear, so then once again i was referred to Addenbrookes Hospital in cambridge and saw a specialist in Tendon and Foot surgery. Cambridge was an hour's drive and we had to do the journey at least 3 times, The first appointment we drove up there for them to tell us that they hadn't recieved my CT and MRI scan from my general and they couldnt do anything, Just shows how good the NHS is. The second time we went up there i had a Ultrasound scan which also showed intense swelling but nothing abnormal, Finally 2 years from when it first happened i found out what the problem is, I have suspected Inflammatory Arthritis and am now in the process of seeing a Rhumeotologist. The pain has been severe for ther past year. What offer can you help me, Ways to deal with the pain, Excercises, Will i be able to run on it, Will i be able to join the army after the treatment has finished? Thank you for spending your time reading this and i hope to hear from you soon.


  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You poor thing, I am so sorry to read this: it was bad enough when I started at 37, but 16? That's too unfair for words.

    I am now an aged hag of 52, but all I can tell you is that these things do take time to be diagnosed. There are over 200 versions of arthritis, both inflammatory and not, and diagnosing it is not easy. I was ignored for five years by my GP, it then took a further two to be seen properly by a rheumatologist and here I am, quite a few years later with both an inflammatory (auto-immune cause) and osteo (in my case probably a combination of age and being fat cause).

    Your arthritis is unique to you: we cannot say how fast it will progress or develop, it does take time to discover what exactly is going on. I for one rarely moan about the NHS because, fundamentally, I am so glad that I am not doing this privately. The cost to your parents would be prohibitive if you were doing this within the private system, I know that the NHS is slow but at the end of the day you do get seen and you do get help. I had three major ops on the NHS which were, essentially 'free'. I had a private op, which was a considerably smaller procedure, and that cost my husband £3000. That was, and will be, the only time he ever spends three grand in a day.

    As for pain, I suspect you are limited in terms of relief due to your age. This is something you need to discuss with your GP, but please be aware that pain killers are NOT that: they don't kill, they dull, they take off the edge, that is all. There are techniques such as breathing exercises, distraction and visualisation that can also help - and more than you might think. Ummm, I have to go and cook now, I hope I have been of some help. I wonder if the Helpline here could give you any advice? It is a free phone call, perhaps talking directly to someone would be useful. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,608
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there, Rhyscous,

    I can well understand your frustration but, as DD has said, diagnosis can be tricky with arthritis and, I guess, it's not the first thing one would suspect in a 16 yr old with an apparent football injury. Mine started in my fingers (Aged 15) & I was treated for chilblains for some time.

    You don't say when your rheumatology appointment is. I hope, for your sake, it's sooner rather than later as the rheumatologist would be the best person to answer the questions that you ask at the end. I'm reluctant to try myself as, although I know what works for me, you are young (I'm 65 now), you may have a different kind of arthritis to me and I wouldn't want to suggest anything that could potentially make it worse.

    If your rheumatology appoitment is still some way away you might find your GP can advise you. Or, as DD has suggested, the Helpline team here are very good.

    I do hope you can get some answers as quickly as possible.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • wannabewriter
    wannabewriter Member Posts: 114
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    I’m so sorry to hear about the troubles you’ve been having.

    I don’t have inflammatory arthritis, I have osteo, the bone one, and fibromyalgia (think of it as arthritis of the muscles kind of thing), but have picked up some things while being on the forum.

    I really hope that your diagnosis doesn’t come back as inflammatory arthritis. The thing with inflammatory arthritis, is that while you can go into remission, and there are drugs which make it feel much better and slow down the bad stuff it does to your body, there isn’t a ‘cure’ - you’ll always have it in some way or other, and the treatment doesn’t ‘finish’, it’s unfortunately lifelong for most. This is probably the hardest thing to take in, but there is so much support here on the forum, and on the helplines, that I hope you will find ways to cope.

    Also, I know the RAF will not take people with arthritis, and they are very strict about other things (ie celiacs, IBS, persistent skin conditions, etc etc), but I’m not sure about the army. You would need to go to them to find out their entrance requirements. If they won’t take you after your diagnosis, you could always look at their ‘civvy’ jobs or an engineering route to still be involved in the armed forces – their strictest entrance requirements would be for active servicemen. I know someone who had to take this route for the RAF, and he still relishes his job every single day, despite not being able to be active in service.

    When is your next rheumy appointment? Please let us know how you get on. Jump on over to Living With Arthritis forum too, as that’s probably more active than this one so you might get more responses.

    I hope the pain isn’t too bad for you at the moment, and I have everything crossed that your diagnosis is not inflammatory and you can continue with your career aims for the army.

    Best of luck

  • loopylou94
    loopylou94 Member Posts: 24
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Im also 16 and was diagnosed with pa 6 months ago. SO i dont have a huge amount of advice. Although i do know how it feels so if you want a chat you can pm me any time and i will get back to you as soon as i can. I have found that hot and could packs help ease the pain. Hope this helps . I hope to hear from you soon.
    loopy lou :)