I have been seeing a rheumatologist on and off for about 10 years now. (I am now 27) When I was younger (about 3 or 4) I had Juvenile Arthritis in my wrists and ankles. I grew out of that within a couple of years, and when I was 15 I twisted my knee and the following day it had swelled up. Since then I have had problems everytime I did a long walk or similar, that my knee would swell up again. As my sister has RA they told me thats what it was, although my rheumatoid factor has always come back non-existent on every blood test I have had. I had an arthroscopy about 8 years ago to rule out it being anything else, and was told it was definitley RA.
I have had continual uveitis for the last 8 years or so (I did have it when I had the juvenile arthritis, and had my tear ducts removed when I was about 1) of which was treated with methotrextate. I did not want to go onto the methotrexate when it was suggested by the rheumatologist as it seemed a very strong drug for an annoying swollen and sometimes painful knee. However to save my eye sight was a different matter and I agreed. I came off this about 3-4 years ago as I was admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties after an episode of glandular fever. It was never diagnosed as being either a result of the methotrexate or pneumonia. However I am now not keen on going back onto a DMARD as I remember how serious the breathing problems were (hospitalised for 10 days on oxygen 24 hours and close to not making it through one night). My eyes settled down and the opthamologist is happy to control it with eye drops.
My knee is still swelling randomly now, not a huge amount however after an MRI there is appaerntly a lot of swelling inside my knee. It causes me some problems, but not like others on here. However I struggle to bend it completely, such as sit on my heels.
Since April I had 2 steriod injections which do not seem to do much. I spoke to the rheumatologist at my last appointment for the injection and he wants me to start on Sulfasalazine, however after my recent problems I am reluctant to go onto this (and also as it is only 1 joint, I'm not sure I want to put chemicals into my whole body for years at a time).
I spoke to a different rheumatologist at the appointment before the injection and she mentioned this chemical synovectomy. I cannot see much information about it anywhere and was wondering whether it was a commonly suggested option?
I am confused as one rheumatologist is saying she can inject radiation into my knee, kill off the synovial fluid and then no need for drugs all around my body to solve 1 joint problem. Whilst the other is suggesting yet more drugs. I am going to be 28 this year and my partner and I would like to have children in a few years time and after being on methotrexate, I am reluctant to take a load more drugs (I know pregnancy can occur on Sulfasalazine but I don’t think I would want to be taking drugs at that time).
I am just after a bit of advice really as feeling a bit confused by 2 very different opinions.