Amputation and arthritis

Stigger
Stigger Member Posts: 72
edited 9. Feb 2013, 06:21 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi, i lost my right leg many years ago and this has now caused (through additional work load) severe arthritis in my left hip. The right one is perfect but the left one is as if I were 120!
I've been taking diclofenac 3 times per day and paracetemol with codeine at night. This is no longer working and I cannot sleep at night, bend or walk very far now. I do not want to consider (although doctor recommends I consider it) a hip replacement yet. With only 1 leg, if it reduces my mobility, it would be a retrograde step. Does anyone have any ideas on pain relief? I was considering the steroid injections or other NSAIDS. My mobility is reduced anyway (through the amputation) and my left leg and hip are very precious to me. Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Stigger
    Welcome to the forum....sorry you had to find us in such circumstances.
    As others who will come on after me will tell you......everyone is different and we all react differently to different drugs.
    I have OA in my hips, lumbar region, left ankle and neck....also got kyphoscoliosis.
    I have had a hip replacement but can understand you not wanting one because of the amputation..
    I'm on diclofenic slow releae {full dose} morning and night
    Paracetamol, Morphine slow release but that is for a different thing {fractured pelvis and i dont hope to be on it for long} Variouse other things like iron, stomach tablet {omneprazol because of the nsaids}and a laxative ....none directly related to the OA. I'm also on naproxen slow release....morning and night.
    Like I say different things suit different people.
    What does your doc say? Could you get referred to a pain clinic? If you dont want a THR and you have good reason they cant force you to have it so dont let that stop you going to the doc,
    Love
    Hileena
  • skezier
    skezier Member Posts: 11,333
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Stigger

    Welcome from me as well but sorry you are in this position.

    I get fully you not waning to have the thr but don't close your mind to it totally. Keep it on the back burner for now.

    They could give you some kind of add in especially for night use to help you sleep o its well worth talking to them for a bit more pain control.

    Some get good results from the steroid jabs in the hips and it may be a good idea to try. I don't know if your under a otrtho or your gp? Which ever its a good idea to talk to them to get some more help with pain. There are a fair few things they use though sometimes it can take a bit of time to find one that suits you.

    Good luck and please talk to your gp and see if you can have some more pain relief help. Nice to meet you and I really hope you can find something that brings you a lot more relief. Cris x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Stigger, it's nice to meet you. I really cannot help as I have two legs (albeit both wrecked with arthritis) but I have to agree with skezier (who is wise): don't write off the idea of a THR, they can make a helluva difference to the quality of life but of course your situation is unique to you. I don't know how you would cope with the post-op recovery, from the sound of you I am sure you would and with some gusto, but given your situation it would have its own complications to be managed. Steroid injections are very much a curate's egg of a treatment, for some they are marvellous, for others they offer a degree of relief for a varying period of time but you won't know which camp you belong to until you try one. Your pain relief could be increased, anti inflammatories are unlikely to be of much help if the docs deem a replacement is the next move, ooooooh it is a conundrum.

    Pursue the other avenues first and if they don't help sufficiently then consider a replacement. They can be miraculous and from what I have read on here they more often are than not. I wish you well. DD
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,076
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Stigger

    a very warm welcome from me to you :smile: I hope you find these forums as useful and supportive as l have.

    I am glad to say you are not alone in having both arthritis and amputation. There are one or two on here and l am certain at least one of them will be along soon to put their two-pen'orth in :wink:

    I am with Cris too and feel yo should try other options first if you can. A lot of us take amitriptyline for instance at night to relax muscles etc and it alos helps yo sleep. It's at a lowish dose, but trust me it helps! If it comes to replacement you WILl manage you WILL do it and from what alot of folks on here say you should be very glad yo had it done :grin:

    Love

    Toni xx
  • julie47
    julie47 Member Posts: 6,041
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Stigger
    Nice to meet you and welcome to the forum :grin: , but I am also very sorry you had to find us due to arthritis. :sad:

    I am also a right leg (below knee) amputee. I lost my leg 6 and a half years ago. I have Ra.

    I can understand your apprehension of a thr and wondering how you will cope. Using your false leg as your major limb is quite hard and a strain on your stump.

    I would talk to the surgeon and tell him all your worries and see what he says.
    I think it is a tough decision but only you can decide whether to have the op. Like the others have said though....you would have a new hip and no pain so that would be a good thing and for a few weeks of struggling it may be worth it. :smile:

    Take care
    Juliepf x
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,152
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Stigger,welcome to the forum,i cant offer any advise as i am not in your situation but wanted to say hi,finding the forum was one of the best things i have done,people to talk to not only about arthritus any thing that takes your fancy.thinking of you.Mig
  • Stigger
    Stigger Member Posts: 72
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear all

    Thank you for the warm welcome and advice. I'm going to see the doc on Monday and will talk through some ideas. My amputation was high above the knee so although I'm not writing off the thr, it is very much a last option as I am worried that if it were one of the few that did not work perfectly, my mobility would be affected and that is the last thing I want.

    You all sound a great bunch and I really appreciate the support.
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Morning Stigger
    Just popped in this morning to see how you were.
    Good Luck with your GP.......now you have found us keep coming back on and posting

    Love
    Hileena
  • julie47
    julie47 Member Posts: 6,041
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Morning stigger

    Good luck with your gp appointment on monday, I hope he can give you good advice and put your mind at rest.

    Take care
    Juliepf x
  • Stigger
    Stigger Member Posts: 72
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi all
    I saw the surgeon a couple of months ago, he put me on co-codomol 30/400 (2, 4 times a day) with 50mg Diclofenac 3 times a day and a Proton Pump Inhibitor. He says I cannot have a steroid injection as there is no cartilage left to inject into.
    He recommends that I have my hip replaced or take drugs to knock me unconcious - his words - and that there are no alternatives as I have 'end stage' osteoarthritis. He has referred me to another surgeon, who has more experience in 'unusual hip ops'.
    He agrees that it is going to be very difficult to recover (with other leg fully amputated) and there is a possibility that I could end up in a wheelchair.
    Does anyone have any experience of this - or other pain relief. I can't stand the pain anymore (co-codomol take the 'top off' for an hour then it is back) - would welcome any suggestions. Thank you.
  • dachshund
    dachshund Member Posts: 8,417
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Stigger
    i'm on 30/500 solpadol thats paracetamol and codeine tab you put in water to dissolve.and 50 diclofenic.
    take care
    joan xx
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,276
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh stigger
    I was wondering how you had got on...I have to have both my hips replaced,but unlike you I have both legs...I can see you worry about being in a chair...I have just acquired one till I get sorted....the only med that helps me sleep is amytriptaline....not a clue how to spell it.
    Having the hip replaced will at least get rid of the pain...and hopefully physio will be able to help you get mobile...I can understand that this will be along journey....but better not to have such pain....have you tired the slow release pain patches...they do seem to work for some.
    Please let us know how you get on
  • Stigger
    Stigger Member Posts: 72
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi everyone
    Just an update. My hip has deteriorated quite badly over the last few months and I am now on the waiting list for a THR on my left hip.
    The surgeon who will do it (and it took several referrals up the food chain to find him) has said it must be done or I will be in a wheelchair.
    He also says I may not walk afterwards but it will be down to physiotherapy, determination and some dumb luck.
    I'm still working, but maxed out on painkillers, a tens machine and anything I can do to relieve the pain for a moment or two.
    I also have develope OA in my one remaining knee and that will have to be done too.
    If you know of anyone who has an above knee amputation and a THR on the remaining good leg, please do let me know. I'd love to hear how they coped.
    Thanks.
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,152
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Stigger,good to hear from you again,sorry you are still going through the mill with the pain,hope you don't have to wait too long for your op.Thinking of you Mig
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,102
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That's a tough call, Stigger. Of course you will be anxious. At least you know you will have a surgeon who is an expert in this field and I know from experience that the top men are very keen to protect their handiwork and ensure everything functions well afterwards. I'm sure they'll give you special physio and you sound like the sort of person who will make things work. Good luck.
  • Stigger
    Stigger Member Posts: 72
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks all; I'm sure it will be fine, as you say surgeons are keen to do a good job and I'm a fairly tough cookie.

    I'm going to write it up in a blog, so if it happens to someone else, they will have a point of reference. Get the covered wagon out, I'm going to be a pioneer!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,102
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think that's a great idea. We do, from time to time, get people asking about more unusual ops etc. Sometimes we can remember there was someone, way back, but we've nothing to refer back to. That would be very helpful for the next person, Stigger. Wagons roll :wink:

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