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Legs won't move!

jopp87jopp87 Posts: 5
Hi, I am currently waiting to see a Rheumatologist to assess whether I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia or Reactive Arthritis. Since having major jaw surgery in August, I have been ill and having trouble with joints since September. Originally, the doctor diagnosed Reactive Arthritis as my wrists, fingers, thumb and big toes were excruciatingly painful and swollen. Any pain in my ankles was shooting and stabbing pain.

However, since the weather dampened in October my ankles have become unable to properly bear weight/swollen/more consistently, achingly painful and my knees, hips and elbows are also affected. The pain levels and mobility fluctuates - some days I can barely walk with crutches and others I can potter about the house unaided. My hands are always bad.

However, on Sunday my left ankle refused to move - I was shouting at it in my head to lift and I just could not pick it up for a few minutes. Yesterday my legs just stopped moving about 5 times, for periods of a few minutes each time. From Doctor and research - this seems to be the only symptom that directly points to fibromyalgia and 'rules out' reactive arthritis - but as I have never had either before I am not sure whether 'stiffness' associated with arthritis can be so severe that your legs just wont move even if you are telling them to?

Please offer any information you can on this as I really don't want to think I have Fibromyalgia, particularly as I have to wait so long to see the Rheumatologist.

Many Thanks :)



  • helpline_teamhelpline_team Posts: 2,016
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Jo,

    Thanks for your post to Helplines. I'm sorry to hear that you are having unexplained arthritis problems and all this uncertainty that goes with it. You've mentioned that you are waiting to see the specialist. It may be worth asking the GP whether they can make it an urgent referral. Also by contacting rheumatology you may be able to ask if they can offer you a cancellation appointment if one's available.

    I don't know if you are aware, but here on Helplines we are not medically qualified, so we can't advise you, but are very much here for general information and support. If you'd like a chat I'd really encourage you to ring us on our free phone - that may mean we hear more fully your side of things and may be able to signpost you better.

    I'm not quite sure about your comment about a symptom ruling out reactive arthritis. I hope a doctor or rheumatologist would be able to help with that. Here's a link to our factsheets http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Listedbytype/Factsheets

    More than anything do get in touch if you'd like a bit more information or some support.

    Kind regards

  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I have two kinds of arthritis, an auto-immune type plus osteo, and was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The last one is much more concerned with overall muscle pain and tenderness - I am currrently tender from top to toe. I do have difficulties with walking (I use crutches on the better days and a rollator on the poorer ones) but I can usually manage indoors without, although sticks are strategically placed around the place. What I have never had is a limb refusing to move - I can be reluctant to move because of pain but not the 'refusal' that you are experiencing. This cannot be easy.

    I hope you won't build your hopes up too high about a definitive diagnosis being made at your appointment - there are many forms of auto-immune arthritis and it can take some time to narrow down which one is troubling you. Do post again on the Living with Arthritis board on here, there may be someone around who can relate better to your troubles. I wish you well and I hope you get an answer sooner rather than later. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • jopp87jopp87 Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Guy,
    Thank you for your reply, I am sorry it sounded like I was after a diagnosis, I wanted to put as much detail in as possible to see if anyone could pick up a symptom and recognise it really - thank you for your link to the factsheets page :):)

    DD, thanks for all your advice, I will definately re-post to the other thread as I am avoiding telling my doctor that my legs stopped as I am scared of the outcome and maybe the thread can help with that- I am going to call Rheumatology today. Is it difficult to diagnose arthritis/fibromyalgia? I was hoping to get diagnosed straight away so I can start to tackle this :( all the very best, take care :) x
  • elnafinnelnafinn Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jo

    I am sorry to read your posting. I cannot really help you but it struck a cord with me as I have difficulty walking on occasions and I fall and trip and know how scary this is. These things happen to me for other reasons other than fibro or ReA but is not alcohol related! ;)

    I would suggest that you tell your doctor all your symptoms rather than keeping some back because you are frightened. I understand your fear but a diagnosis and help may well come faster if you keep nothing back.

    I do not know if you are aware of the FibroAction forum but it has a huge following and you may learn something and can of course ask a question yourself.

    The link is as follows:


    I wish you well,

    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
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