Im new here, saying hello

rainbowjen Member Posts: 15
edited 27. May 2012, 11:01 in Say Hello Archive
Hi everyone,

Im Jen, Im 44 and have had OA in my left knee for 4 years,lower back 3 years, diagnosed in right knee last year and diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis in both shoulders a couple of months ago, but still undergoing tests to determine if its RA.

To be honest I feel at my wits end at the moment, I feel bad feeling like this as compared to so many my problems are minor and I tell myself to pull myself together and get on with things but its hard at the moment.

I was discharged from the orthos 18 months ago regarding my left knee, I had had 3 minor surgeries on it, 1 to remove the damaged meniscus, next to shave the back of the patella and finally a lateral release in the hopes that my knee would be 'freer' to find a comfortable position away from bone on bone. After the lateral release, the OA was grade 3 with patches of grade 4. The next stage is a TKR but they want me to cope as long as possible before going down that route due to my age. I was assessed for a new kneecap but because the arthritis is bad in the main joint 2 it was deemed 'a waste of time'.
I was using crutches on and off for 2 years and the last 2 have walked with a stick.
Last year my right knee started hurting doing stairs and slopes and gradually got worse, I had an xray and the GP said there was moderate arthritis present but other than take pain killers there was nothing to be done.
In March I injured my knee getting out of the back of a car, saw my GP who sent me to A&E. I was x rayed, which showed a fragment of bone in the joint space, braced, told to use my crutches and seen 3 days later in the fracture clinic. The cons I saw said he couldn't see the fragment and thought it was just arthritis pain I was having - I could neither fully straighten or bend my knee or put any weight through it without it giving way, but to put my mind at ease he ordered an MRI scan. In the meantime, RICE and use the crutches when walking. I don't think I could get through to him just how much it hurt, it was as bad if not worse than when I tore my meniscus.
Last week I woke up in excrutiating pain from my original bad knee and couldn't walk very well even with both crutches. The GP was going to send me to A&E again as he wanted me to be seen by the orthos, he isn't sure if its just complaining about over use or if there is another injury, but due to the bank holiday I wouldn't have been seen until this week and I see the orthos tomorrow for the MRI results so he has faxed them requesting they look at this knee again when Im there.

Im having to shuffle with the crutches rather than walk due to the pain in both knees, Im getting worried about tomorrow, Im not sure what I want the outcome to be - I don't want more surgery but neither do I want to be sent away again with 'Learn to live with it' Does that make sense. The cons Im seeing is the knee specialist at our hospital but I find him very dismissive - he took over when my original cons retired, and is the one who said a PKR would be a waste of time and I had to live with it.

Has anyone any ideas how I can articulate how bad the pain is and how it is actually preventing me from getting out and about?

Sorry to moan and ramble on.



  • Puschinka
    Puschinka Member Posts: 176
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi and welcome, Jen.
    I'm sorry you're in so much pain and are having all these problems, I feel for you. I know all about knee pain... my 'good' knee is fast catching up with my bad one in the pain department and when I walk with my crutch now;, I can no longer think of it as my 'good' knee. :cry:
    I have only dealt with 2 ortho consultants since all this began for me ( only5months ago), one was very nice and made me feel at ease and in 'good hands', so to speak. The other, much younger one, his registrar, I think - well he barely made eye contact with me and was dismissive and patronizing.
    How to describe the level of pain you're having?
    That's a good one, Jen.
    Perhaps take a length of copper pipe, wack him across the shins ( not too hard, mind :o ) and when he's stopped screaming in pain and can talk again...
    ask him, how would he describe that level of pain.
    I'm sure he'll get the general idea then. :wink:
    Let us know how you get on Jen and best wishes to you. xx
  • traluvie
    traluvie Member Posts: 2,579
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi and welcome from me too Jen,

    I have osteo in my knees, but i am lucky that they only flare occasionally and when they do it bloody hurts, i feel your pain Jen.
    Sounds to me you are suffering an awful lot and i can understand you want some recognition, support and help in trying to get things more managable for you.. I like Pushinkasidea of hitting them with a copper pipe :lol: but i don't think it will go down to well... :? :lol:
    Do you keep a pain diary, i used to have to do one for my endometriosis.
    It was broken down into Morning, Noon,Night.. pain levels from 1-10, what you have done to try and ease the pain and what was your pain levels are after ...Might be something you could try and see if that may explain the levels of pain you are experiencing.
    Hope you get things sorted, or at least on the right road, take care..
  • rainbowjen
    rainbowjen Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Puschinka, thanks for the welcome ........ and for putting a smile on my face LOL! Id not thought of using copper pipe, I was swaying towards grabbing hold of his crotch aand doing a twist and squeeze type movement for a similar effect :lol:
    I think the problem is that my original consultant was lovely, he treated me like a person, whereas the new one may be a hot shot but lacks in personal skills!
    My initial meniscal injury was caused by an accident which the 1st was aware of, when I saw the new one he dismissed that and said it was because I was over weight! I know I am and Ive lost some weight (4 stones) while all this has been going on. That was when they were considering PKR.

    Ah well I suppose Im nattering over nothing and what will be will be. If I get the same reaction from him again then I guess I will just have to man up and live with the pain.

    Hi traluvie, just seen your reply as I went to post this. Id not thought of a pain diary, I could probably think back the last few days and jot that down to take with me, do consultants actually pay any attention to them? Thanks for your reply.
  • rainbowjen
    rainbowjen Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I saw the consultant this morning, he said that the menisci in the main joint are ok, no major tears but the cartilage behind the kneecap had totally degenerated, hence the pain walking. He said that a new knee cap is a possibility but he doesn't want to do it as the younger you are the quicker they fail as you are more active - chance would be a fine thing!! He has injected me with corticosteroid behind the knee cap in the hopes it does something for the pain and inflamation , but no guarantees. He hadn't received the fax from my GP about my other knee and protocol says it has to be another referral, however, he took one look at it and said ' That doesn't look good', had a feel and now wants me to have that knee scanned too. So, in a way there is progress, he has told me that he realises the pain from the knee cap is major, but its a case of learning to manage it as long as possible.
  • catrocks1982
    catrocks1982 Member Posts: 56
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have just joined the forum aswell, so hello to you :)

    Your knees sound so sore i can sympethize, i have OA in my jaw joint after it being broken 12yrs ago. I need a full jaw joint replacment but im too young for the surgery.

    I totally get where u came from i had one surgeon say it was all in my head even though you can clearly see from the MRI and CT scans its a mess, 2nd surgeon said it was the worst hes ever seen in someone so young. I am on liquid/soft diet no chewing allowd on 8 tramadol a day and have lost over 3st so im now a size 6 its awful.

    I hope that you get the outcome you want, fingers crossed :)

  • rainbowjen
    rainbowjen Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Cat, that sounds horrendous! It really gets my goat that so called 'caring professionals' can make us feel so bad. I hate how age has to come into it, in my mind if its inevitable that the surgery is going to take place and will ease the problem, do it so we can benefit from it now, so what if it wears out at least we will have had the chance to benefit.
    I had 2 years of tests on various internal organs when I started with abdo pains and about 6 months in I went to talk about pain control with the dr because I was on tramadol and they weren't even dulling the pain. I saw a locum and she told me it was in my mind and that half the population 'think' they are in pain when they aren't!! I wish I had complained about her, her manner was appalling, I got back to the car and burst into tears! I had many trips to the surgery about the same issue and managed to start to get in control but after a phase of it being really bad I went and was actually sick in the surgery when a wave of pain came, the dr then said ' well I think that proves its a genuine pain and not an imaginary one '!! We know our own bodies better than anyone and I don't know about you but Im not happy with the amount of meds I need, but its a case of needs must. Why would you want to make up a pain?

    I will get off my soap box now :lol:
  • catrocks1982
    catrocks1982 Member Posts: 56
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My goodness thats awful, yes i agree health care proffessionals dont care about the patient anymore, its all about targets, cash etc.

    The first surgeon said to me the pain was in my head, due to having depression before! also said because it was broken during domestic violence that it was my own fault! I complained about him and got a lovely surgeon but again its like he doesnt want to do the work needed to give me a better quality of life :S Its very frustrating.

    Tamadol help with the pain however they make you very drowsy so if you need to go out of the house you have to just put up with pain so yi can drive, or just stay in. Im in the house most of the time which is also frustrating.

    Im not happy with the amount of tramadol i have to take, sometimes just try and manage without taking the 8 per day as i cant function on that amount.

    :) How have you found the forum so far?

  • rainbowjen
    rainbowjen Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Its a pity that the drs don't have to be fellow sufferers of the conditions they specialise in, then they might understand a bit more of what we are going through.

    Ive found the forum very welcoming and supportive, also informative. I didn't know I was supposed to rest my knee after the cortisone injection yesterday until someone on here said so! The dr gave me no advice at all and just disappeared as sonn as he had done it.

    When I was first on tramadol, 4 years ago after the op to remove the cartilage in my left knee, it used to zonk me and I was happy to stop taking it after a couple of weeks. The dr then prescribed it again for migraines as nothing else was working and I seemed to spend a week sleeping when I was taking 8 a day. I was then prescribed them as part of a cocktail of drugs with buprenorphine patches and oramorph for about 8 months which seemed to get rid of all the side effects. Im taking 8 daily again at the mo and have needed codeine in between too today which isn't ideal but needs must.

    I really hope you get some relief soon xx
  • catrocks1982
    catrocks1982 Member Posts: 56
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I do aswell, im tired all the time from lack of energy and the tablets. I think you are right they should have to be fellow sufferers of the condition they specialize in, but i would say i dont think many of them would be in work if they had to deal with what we do on a daily basis.

    I am just fed up not working as i was told to stop because of the weight loss and im a lorry driver so on tramadol i cant drive so that was the other reason.

    They dont give you any information you have to find it all out for yourself, i.e i was put on diclofenac to start with and only just found out i should have been on stomach tablets aswell as those tablets can cause ulcers! Im glad it was only a short period of time i was on them.

    No wonder they have so many negligence claims to deal with these days.

    I have another surgeon looking at it on the 28th may as the surgeon i am with has run out of idea's lol.

    :) Catx
  • Heather65
    Heather65 Member Posts: 262
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi all ive had neck pain for a few years now but only recently been told i have cv in my neck my chiropractor has been great and supportive and has wrote to my doctor who in turn has been very helpful and understanding (i know im lucky )he refered me to the hospital and got a appointmemt which i went to on the 10th ,the person i saw wasnt very sympathic and im sure she thought i was over playing my symptons as im only 47 so many questions later and poking and proding i was quite pleased to be going for a MRI later this month so lets see what happens i know my symptoms are real and just want some answers ,not sure what the outcome will be and if they will do anything but at least im moving forward sometimes you just have to push to get what you want
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,073
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jen

    l am so sorry l am late very late on here :oops: l was so sad reading you pain and the seeming lack of help you are getting. Wondering how you are doing now and whetehr the steroid jab did anything to ease the pain. there are plenty on here having to 'wait for joints' because they are 'too young' :roll:

    Can l say hello too to Heather65 who l am sure l have seen elsewhere on the forum and to Cattrocks too :D

    Hope you are all feeling at home here.


    Toni xxx

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