OsteoArtheritis In left Ankle

Gazhughes
Gazhughes Member Posts: 6
edited 4. Oct 2011, 08:42 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi
Im new to this and a bit unsure if ive come to the right place but by the sounds of some of your posts i think i have.
Im 32 and have lived with arthritis for about 10 years now, although the accident that caused it was about 16 years ago doctors and consultants were always reluctant to diagnose it, so i would say 10 years diagnosed. Over the past 10 years the pain has gotten worse but has been controlled by regular cortisone injections and the dreaded nightly co codamol (Painkillers, there’s another storey)
I am now at a point where the injections do not work and over the past 6 months the pain has become really unbearable. When i hear other peoples storeys and even see people who clearly have it far worse than i have i always feel stupid so very rarely talk about it, infact i find myself in tears typing this as im just confused, am i in as much pain as i think i am?? Am i just weak? Should i be moaning about the pain. Im at a point where the pain in my ankle gets so bad it makes me fall. I have a 2 year old and struggle to do things with him in fear of falling!! I feel like such failure as im a 32 year old lad who to look at doesn’t look like theres anything wrong (if that makes sense) but is just constantly in pain. I walk on the side ov my foot just so i don’t look like im limping, this has caused all my toes to claw, just to make things worse.
Anyway i don’t know what im looking for here, i guess its just to talk. My ex didn’t understand i tried so hard to explain how bad the pain gets but she always used to say how it did her head in that i had to leave places early cos i was in pain. I guess im just looking for someone to understand. Plus ive heard about a bone fusion and wanted to know if this is good for pain relief.
Anyway, sorry to waffle and sorry if this is the right forum im not used to forums.
Thanks
Gaz

Comments

  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Gaz,
    Yes you've come to the right place. We also understand about loved ones {no matter how supportive} can get a bit fed up if we keep moaning so thats why we find that here is the best place.....you get understanding from people who are going through the same thing.
    Thats number 1 :lol: You talk here as much as you want.
    I dont totally understand it all.....I have arthritis in my left accident because of an accident 3 years ago but it hasnt given me a lot of trouble yet so I cant really help with the fusion bit of it....but we will all understand the pain.
    I have OA {apart from ankle which isnt bad yet} hips, neck, lower back. Have had one hip replacement up to now.
    It must be so much harder at your young age....Dont feel stupid....and pain is pain.....I can remember coming on here and thinking there isnt really much wrong with me compared to the others...but soon realised that pain is pain to each person no matter how little or much.
    Who have you been seeing....GP or a Pain clinic??? If the pain medicine isnt working ...simple....go back and tell them that and ask them what else can they do? They dont know if you dont tell them its not working.
    Also the way you are walking....well that needs to be sorted as well so tell your GP and ask him who can he refer you to.
    You apologise for wafffling :lol: Thats all I've done in this post and I hope you can make sense of it....there will be others come on to help out and some will know about fusion....'fraid I dont....Its almost 10pm....I've been out and am late answering posts....but bear with us and see who else posts that knows what they are talking about :lol:
    Love
    Hileena
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,279
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hileena's right, Gaz. If you're in so much pain you need something more to help.

    You do need to talk about it and I'm sure you're in every bit as much pain as you think you are and not imagining it. You are not weak. You sound pretty tough to me. I'm sorry your ex didn't understand. It is hard for others to understand until they've experienced it. On here we do understand so talk to us about it as much as you like. We've all been there.

    Bone fusion? I think you need to talk to a consultant about this. My own ankle joints fused themselves years ago and are now much less painful. But, long before that happened I was helped by surgical shoes and a caliper. Perhaps your GP could sort something out for you. It was my rheumatologist who referred me but orthotics can really help by correcting the way you walk and supporting your ankle.

    Please come back here and 'waffle' as much as you like, Gaz. We do understand. You have definitely come to the right place.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • traluvie
    traluvie Member Posts: 2,579
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Gaz..

    Yes you have come to the right place..
    Welcome to the forum..
    You have already recieved some good advice..
    I just wanted to reassure you that you are not weak and your pain is as real as everyone elses, it's just the way we deal with it/handle it/use meds that can make it different..This is why it is impportant to work with your GP in regards to pain meds, walking as you are is not good either so i would mention that to your Gp they can do referals to physio or OT, maybe walking aids could help on bad days..
    I am 32 with 2 children so can understand your struggles..here is a good place to talk and ask questions and have a laugh too..
    th_tn_TisFORTIGGER.jpgxxTracyxx
  • woodbon
    woodbon Member Posts: 4,969
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    HI, All I can say is that you are in the right place and I'm glad you've found us! I have OA in few joints and I have been round in circles looking for answers. One thing though, you're not weak, you must be strong to go through all the things you've told us.
    Now, I agree with the others, you need medical help to get your pain under better control. The NHS has pain clinics and physio as well as councelling, which I am just starting. I hope you have a good GP or consultant to talk over your options. Especially if you want to find out what surgery can do to help.
    So don't give up hope of pain relief yet! Good luck, and stick with us! :lol: Love Sue xxx
  • madwestie
    madwestie Member Posts: 383
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Gaz, welcome to the forum. This is the best place to get it all off your chest so to speak. we all understand how you feel.
    I have had OA in my neck since i was 26 i went through some really bad patches with constant migrane like headaches and nothing being done about it but one day i saw a different gp and he suggested some anti inflammatory tablets that he thought i could take (i have asthma so can't take normal ones) and things began to look up then at 40 i got RA we that was a blow but now with the right pain reliaf and Ra meds i am not doing to bad i still have bad days when i wonder if this is what i have to look forward to but mostly I am able to get on with doing what i want to albeit in a modified way I walk with a crutch which helps greatly.
    You need to speak to your gp and let them know exactly how you are feeling and how bad the pain is and certainly tell then about falling.
    Your pain is not of less consequence than someone elses. we all deal with different pain in different ways i can put up with lots but the headaches get me down other will be different.
    You have done the hard bit by speaking out now we can help support you through the process of getting it sorted for you and for your son.

    Tracey
  • julie47
    julie47 Member Posts: 6,142
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Gaz

    Welcome to the forum. I am glad that you have decided to pop in an jot down your feelings and I hope the advice everyone has given you helps.
    You are not weak, pain can really drag you down and it is difficult for others without pain to understand.
    I would go back to your gp and see if you could have an xray to see what the problem could be or ask to be reffered to an orthopedic consultant.

    I hope you get some help soon
    juliepf x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh Gaz, you poor thing, how very rough this is for you. One thing you wrote really leapt out at me - the way you are walking is not going to help matters at all, it will throw stresses onto other joints that are not designed to be stressed in that way and that could create more trouble. I don't mean to be unkind when I say this but please, please consider using a stick, held in your right hand: this will take a deal of the strain away from the affected joint, and help you generally with mobility. That is important.

    As for pain killers - well, what a mis-nomer. The do not kill the pain, they only dull it, take off the edge, nothing more. Unfortunately we do have to adjust to living with a certain degree of discomfort in our lives, but of course we all feel pain differently: one man's dull ache is another's utter agony. There are other options for pain relief apart from cocos (what strength were you on?) and perhaps it is time for you to be referred to orthopaedics so they can have a look at what is exactly going on. I have OA in both knees and (I suspect) my ankles and the pain is very different to that caused my my other arthritis. It is an out-and-out ****.

    Come and talk to us, we know our stuff, we are good listeners and we are supportive. You are not on your own with this, not any more. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • skezier
    skezier Member Posts: 12,150
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Gaz,

    Welcome to the forum and thats not waffling at all.

    A few here have had these and hopefully they will see this thread and come and tell you what its like. All I ever had was an ankle plated after a break and its the same thing.

    I agree with Sticky and it does seem that the pain control could do with being (as my rumo calls it) beefed up. Maybe your gp can help with that one.

    Its a thing that though there comes a point when they no longer completely remove all pain they should be able to keep it with in a manageable level.

    I wonder if you use the search box and put in ankle fusion if the other posts will come up for you cus there have been a few. Nice to meet you and good luck in what ever you decide. Cris x
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there Gaz

    Your pain sounds worse than mine and I am due to have a triple fusion on my left ankle. OA was diagnosed by xray initially after I mentioned to my rheumatologst about the pain and I have been monitored every 6 months since.

    I think you need the next step now and need to be refered to a specialist.I hope you let your GP know how bad things have become.


    Best of luck
    Elizabeth
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Gaz just want to add that m surgeon tells me a fusion is good for pain relief. He said I would be dancing again!

    Elizabeth
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Gaz just want to add that my surgeon tells me a fusion is good for pain relief. He said I would be dancing again!

    Elizabeth
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • cloud9
    cloud9 Member Posts: 385
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think you need to ask for a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon. Your story is so similiar to mine. There are choices about treatment and a good surgeon will discuss the pros and cons of them with you. Good luck.
    Sue (Cloud9)
  • dachshund
    dachshund Member Posts: 8,038
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Gaz.
    welcome to this lovely forum the people on here are kind and helpfull and they understand pain.
    have you tried a wheat bag you put it in the microwave for about 2 mins or a pack of pea's from the freezer.
    take care.
    joan xx
    take care
    joan xx
  • Gazhughes
    Gazhughes Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi, just settled down after putting my little boy to bed, and so the onset of pain and discomfort begins lol, painkillers popt, and off we go.....
    Wow Nicely surprised by all the responses and recommendations, im still trying to remember what you all said :smile: will go back and read all again :grin:
    Well to answer a couple of questions i am currently under an ortherpedic consultant, however this has only been so i can get more injections, and i very rarely see him, its normally his assistant. I have however asked him, and his assistant on a number of occasions about further treatment and the only thing they recommend is the fusion? but says im too young to have it (to be honest i don’t really want it,,, scared but don’t tell anyone lol). I did ask about shoe inserts, and physio but he is always quite dismissive of anything other than surgical solutions??? I did go to the surgical appliances department, against his advice and now have a plastic insert that i put in my shoe, this does help with the way i walk but i don’t think has aided the pain. I feel i should go back maybe??
    Other thinks ive tried include, physio (after the consultant eventually referred me), acupuncture and osteotherapy. osteotherapy was amazing and is more than likely the only thing that offers good side affect free relief, but what single dad, with a mortgage can afford 40 quid a week???
    Did someone mention a pain clinic?? Whats one of those??
    To answer other questions, i have seen my GP many times for pain relief and have been through them all from anti inflammatory - Naproxen, amitriptyline, Co codamol 30/500 and i have recently gone back as i am having trouble sleeping ,even on the 30/500’s, and he has now given me Tramadol :???: . I hate taking these as they make you feel drowsy and groggy the next day which is no good for my job, plus im in such discomfort in the day (and i sit down for most of it) i have to take my co cos and people think im losing the plot...Gaz are you in there :shock: space cadet!
    Anyway im happy just getting off ma chest ive never spoke to anyone really apart from ma mum, mums understand everthing, but to speak to ppl who are in pain is great cos you will hopefully agree that everything seems twice as hard when all you think about all day is pain pain pain. Im not being funny but after work, then takin the dog then making tea then playin with ma son, im absolutely worn out :mrgreen: . PPl say i shouldn’t do so much ,and there probably right, but im 32 i just want to be normal!!!
    Thanks for listening and all your comments,
  • Gazhughes
    Gazhughes Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    O yeah the wheet bag?? no not tried that, but i do keep a deep heat and a deep freeze. The deep freeze is great at night but only lasts a few minutes. I might try that.

    Ta
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,279
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You just nipped in there, Gaz, as I was about to log off. I’ll have to be brief but things that come to mind are:

    1.You’re orthopaedic consultant is a surgeon. That’s what he does. It may well be why he’s dismissive of orthotic aids. It might be worth seeing them again if you can. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    2. I’ve never been to a pain clinic myself but those who have speak very highly of them. I hope someone will come along soon to tell you more about them. Also Arthritis Care run Challenging Pain courses. There’s a bit about them on a thread at the top.

    3. I know that drowsiness can be a problem with Tramadol and I think lots of people take it around 8pm for that reason. I could be wrong. Don’t take my word on that.

    4. If you’re holding down a job, walking the dog, making tea and dealing with a small child I think you’re doing a great job. But you will be worn out. I guess many would even without the arthritis.

    Yes, we do understand. Sometimes we wish we didn’t! Keep talking. It helps.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi,
    No doubt about it you do have to pace yourself......I'm not the best one for doing that :oops: when I feel a bit better I think....right i can do this etc but there is always payback the next day.
    Well you do seem to have been to loads of people.
    I found my orthopaedic surgeon was interested in nothing than replacing my hip....they both needed replacing. As for your foot.....if you keep walking like that...{side of the foot did you say} it will throw you off balance and affect your hips or/and knee joints. So try the orthotics again...sorry I know nothing about them.....but the surgeons arent interested in anything else really.
    Would your GP refer you to anyone else in the hospital that could help?
    Dont forget the hot or cold....its heat with me. My microwavable bags are great...wouldnt be without them. At night they help as well and they are not like a hot water bottle that gets stone cold in the middle of the night....yes the heat goes out of it but you aren't goint to touch it during the night and jump because its so cold :lol:
    Osteopath....yes I agree with you.....its really expensive....how did the acupuncture go? Was it on the NHS?
    I mentioned pain clinic :grin: I havent been to one but my GP is going to send me to one when we get the immediate problems sorted {fractured pelvis/fractured Sacro illiac joint and after investigation they are now querying my gall bladder? :roll: So I dont know first hand about them but anyone that has gone seems to rave about them. Just a thought. Tramadol are dreadful things...for me anyway....different drugs suit different people but they seem to do thre same to me as they do to you so I dont take them.
    I drive and no way could I drive with those. :sad:
    I told you when I first answered you that you would get lots of comments.....it makes such a difference i find being able to talk to people that know what pain is.
    By the way do you know to tick the bottom of the post where it says notify me when I reply is posted??? Just you said you wern't used to forums.....it means that when you get a reply it will come through to your inbox.; Sorry if i'm teaching my granny to suck eggs :lol::lol::lol:
    Well I was just about to log off when I saw your post
    So have a good night....hope to hear you tomorrow

    Love
    Hileena
  • Gazhughes
    Gazhughes Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Hileena

    thanks again for replying. I know what you mean about the walking on the side of my ankle, i shouldnt do it but if i walk flat footed i look like an idiot sometimes :oops: and i feel embaressed. And i think it has already started to affect other places, i suffer really bad with my whole left leg now, its like a really dull ache and at night its so hard to find a comfortable place for it, spraying that deep freeze does work for a bit. When i ask my GP if thers anyone else to see he just says your under a consultant so go and see him.
    Accupuntcture didnt work at all but i only did it for about a month so maybe i should have done it longer. and no i had to pay for it, so again cant really afford to go back to that and try it for longer at the moment. I did have a sheatsu massage with accupuncture about 6 years ago in Goa india and I swear it completly got rid of all the pain for about a week, the climate helped aswell i think. Do you think the NHS will pay for me to move to Goa and have them every day lol that would be nice.
    Sorry to here about your injurys they do sound very painfull.
    O and yeah i saw the notify bit, i bought one of those smart phone with all the internet and email on it and i dont think ive ever used it lol, but today at work i kept sneaking on ma phone checking out what ppl had posted so might finally get to use the internet on it lol

    Thanks and hope to chat again.

    Gaz
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Morning Gaz
    Its 7am....I'm sitting here waiting for the painkillers/dullers :grin: to kick in before I start the day.
    Your GP isnt much help...sounds like my last one :roll:Orthos are only interested in surgical procedure.....but cant think who else to suggest.
    A pity acupuncture didnt work....I got it under the NHS....didnt know you could....my physio referred me. It did help ...I had it once a week.....helped for about half the week and then I was ready for another session by the time it came round. I was quite happy that I was getting some relief but after 2 sessions....6 weeks each I think.....the physio decided it was helping a bit but not enough to warrant them keep on giving it...so that was that. The relief it gave me was good but not good enough if i had had to pay for it :lol:
    Have you tried heat {Deep Heat} instead of cold......some people feel the benefit of heat and others of cold. It stinks :lol: so not like deep freeze that has a medical smell but not bad...I found Deep Heat was to be used at night :lol: The other thing.....the spray is handy but the gel I think works better.....the masaging movement helps.
    Ohhhh let me know if you get the NHS to pay for you to go to Goa :lol::lol::lol:
    An awful lot of controlling the pain is trial and error and eventually learning what works best for you. But you do need more help from your doc about tablets. We are not docs.....so dont take this as gospel. I find that good old paracetamol helps a bit added to your other things....Check with the doc but i think its pretty safe to take with most other ones....anti inflams etc.
    Sorry not being much help but its good that you are coming on and chatting...someone might have some help for you
    Love
    Hileena
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Crikey, no wonder your leg is hurting - Gaz, I reckon you are throwing perfectly good joints out of alignment and this can only lead to further trouble. I suspect that most of us on here are used to living with a continual background hum of pain, I am used to it now and actually fear having a pain-free day, for me that would be a disaster. Arthritis pain rarely goes, rarely clears, it does grind on and on and on, 'tis the nature of the beast.

    I started using crutches after a knee op in 2002, and haven't stopped since. No-one looks twice, why would they? People are busy with their lives, tho only ones who might have a nose are those who aren't. It is us who may feel self-concious - do you stare at those using sticks or crutches? My best guess would be no, or not often.

    Some on here have had fusions and they can be very successful in terms of reducing pain etc. Your consultant is the one who knows about this, his underling too. I suspect you are a little like me, ie know nothing about the complex world of orthopaedic surgery! I was recently refused new knees as I am too fat and too young (at 52? :shock: Backhanded compliment if ever there was one! :smile ) The surgeon was absolutely right about the first fact (people on here, bless them, were very indignant but I understood his reasoning) - you see he knows his stuff, I don't. Don't dismiss a fusion out of hand, it may be reasonable solution.

    You do sound a busy young man and good on you for that, but please try to build in some rest periods throughout the day, only a few minutes here and there could be all you need. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • angie1973
    angie1973 Member Posts: 248
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Gaz,

    That's one thing we all want to be is normal. It's hard but a lot of us go through a period of loss when we have to adapt our lives to how we are coping, what we can and can't do.

    You sound like you have been suffering a lot. A consultant who only suggests surgery to me is not great. Most doctors etc want to try everything else with surgery as a last resort.

    You've tried the usual sorts of things (Cortisone injections etc), and they are not working now, so their next step should be to discuss what else could be tried and what the success rates are and risk versus benefits etc.

    A few people on here take tramadol and other forms like it. I've heard some say they take it around 8pm so that the effects kick in nicely for sleeping, but don't give you that hungover feeling in the morning when you need to work.

    And don't ever feel bad about talking it over, especially not here. We are all in the same boat so we really do understand. And as you can see if you scout around here, it's not just the bad days we talk about, this lot are a downright hoot as well, so there is always something going on.

    I'm 37 and have OA in my neck, index fingers, knees and my left big toe and it's neighbour. It's hard accepting things will have to change. I used to love running and now I can't. I have to walk instead. You know as forest gump says 'life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get'. It's so true.

    Anyway mate, you sound like a good egg to me, and I'm sorry that your ex was not more understanding. Long term pain is hard for others to accept when they are not in the same boat. I'm sure the time will come when some lucky lass will snap you up and realise what a diamond you are.

    I'd definitely go back and see about the shoe thing though. This one might not have had the best benefit but it might be worth seeing if there is anything else you can try too. If you walk differently to ease the pain, it will trigger it somewhere else from being imbalanced so well worth getting the shoe thing sorted to help with that.

    Take care. Ange..xx
    _______________________

    Only 99.9% possessed by the giggle monster.........the other 0.01 % just eats chocolate..
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm on the list for a triple ankle fusion and I'm putting it off. Who wants an op that requires 3 months non-weight bearing especially with young children? I have now been promised 'extra help' when I come out of hospital but that would be limited to help with washing and dressing. I would be expected to pay for cleaning and ironing but this mean cuts elsewhere in the family budget.
    I think surgery is the solution. life should be a lot easier afterwards but can see its not always practical. All the other help will only be temporary. I have recently been given an ankle support but its not helping at all.

    Hope you keep on the forum for further advice.

    Elizabeth
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • Gazhughes
    Gazhughes Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi

    Thanks agian for the advice. Hileena i find that the deep freeze wirks betta for me at night and the heat is good during the day?? dont know why.
    Ive not been able to get on for a while i took my little boy to see the fireworks (i live in blackpool) decided to take tramadol and co co together to get me through the walk on the prob. Bad move really cos ive suffered everyday since Friday, cant sleep, cant sit still at work, but it was worth it to see ma little boys face at the fireworks.
    Tkachev - Cheers for the advice on the Fusion. When you going? have you got a date yet? let me know how it goes :grin:
    Anyway i have to say i like this forum some gud advice from some good people who clearly know what im talking about.
    Opolagies if i dont reply straight away but after a busy day and getting my son sorted im ready to hit ma bed and start the struggle to get comfy :evil
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Gaz
    Its good to hear you are getting some help from the forum.
    Deep freeze at night and heat during the day :lol::lol::lol: Oh well we have to find what helps US. I had gout in my knee a long time ago and found deep freeze excellent but not much good at other times.....heat was better :lol:
    There is always a payback isnt there.....but if you enjoyed it thats the main thing. Try to take it as easy as you can {I know you work} until it settles down a bit.

    Love
    Hileena