Confirmed OA.

Beelee Member Posts: 14
edited 22. May 2014, 17:44 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi everyone who has responded to my earlier topic. I am just back from my GP who after reviewing my X-rays informed me that I have OA in my ankles and knees, with som e signs of spurs. We discussed where to go from here, she said nothing I do will prevent flare ups, that as soon as I experience a flare up coming on I need to use heat and begin taking pain medication to control the pain and rest. There is nothing I Can do to prevent a flare up. If I continue having them often then she will refer me to a rheumatoid specialist. So I will have to embrace the Days when I feel strong and rest on the others. :D


  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Beelee
    Its unusual for a GP to talk about referring you to a rheumatoid specialist {I think!!} Normally OA is dealt with by the GP unless it comes to surgery and rheumatoid arthritis is dealt with by the hospital...I've got OA so don't know much about RA
    I'm curious......she says begin taking medication when a flare up starts? does that mean you aren't taking medication any other time? Sorry for the questions :)
    I know with my OA I take painkillers to try to stay on top of the pain not to play catch up although I'm no great fan of meds if I don't need them
    Anyway I'm sure there will be someone else along to answer your post
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello again, Beelee, thank you for the update. At least you now know what's what but I'm not sure what constitutes an OA flare. With my auto-immune I know all too well what it constitutes (and it lasts for some time) but my OA is a different beast. Yes, pain levels will suddenly shoot up thanks to inclement weather or my overdoing things but usually it settles within a couple of days.

    I take a daily dose of cocodamol (that's codeine and paracetamol combined, I don't know the Australian equivalent) and that is usually two - four tablets per day. When the pain increases I can up that to eight per day and that is usually enough to get me through. If you can manage without pain relief then that's a good thing, we all develop our personal strategies for coping. Rest and heat is the best, and taking a little rest every day may be beneficial. Please keep in touch and let us know how you're getting on. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,331
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    So, it sounds to me as if your GP has decided you do have OA, based on the x-rays, and feels there's no real indication that you have an auto-immune form of arthritis so there's no need to refer you to a rheumatologist at this point though, if other factors arise to change the picture, you might see one at a later date.

    Like the others, I'm a bit confused by the idea of taking meds when a flare starts. Do I assume you get by normally without any medication? That's good if you can manage it.

    I'm coming at this from a different angle to you as my OA began as a result of RA. I never thought of OA 'flaring' in the way RA does, only of it getting bad as a result of my overdoing things. In some ways I see it as being 'slightly controllable' in that, by keeping the muscles strong and by not overdoing things, it's less likely to protest than otherwise.

    You might find something here to help. Good luck and keep talking to us :)
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,132
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Think I have already said I have not long ago seen a rheumy after 4 years of OA...I am waiting to have a MRI next week to see what is going if you think there is something else it is worth pushing to see a rheumy..has for the pain they do say keep on top of it..don't just take the meds when the pain comes on..I try not to take all my meds..just in case things get worse and they don't work..
  • Beelee
    Beelee Member Posts: 14
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi everyone, I try not to take pain medication unless I need it but have been needing it more recently particularly by the end of the day. I can't take things like Celebrex as I have a stomach problem, when I need to I take a combination of codeine and paracetamol. I think the reasoning behind sending me to a specialist is that recently I have had 3 events where the pain and swelling had been really bad and for two of these the only way to get relief was through steroids, my GP said yesterday I can't take steriods again for sometime due to side affects. So I imagine if once I stop this current series of steroids I have another incidence of swelling and pain which is more than likely she will send me to a specialist for advice re medication.
    I hope this makes sense.
    Love from unusually warm Australia.