"Degenerative Change"

fumanchu Member Posts: 3
edited 29. Mar 2015, 16:22 in Say Hello Archive
Hi, just joined today... got questions :mrgreen:
I know I've had arthritis for a long time, as my right hand is a very odd shape at the wrist and bumps on my fingers that hurt like hell. Recently I went to the doc because my thumb went numb and feels like it's burning, and also my right arm got very sore and stopped working properly. He sent me for an X-ray.
X-ray came back, and the doc in a phone call said I've got "advanced degenerative change" in my thumb, and milder in my shoulder. No mention of any treatment, just advice to take Ibuprofen and try ice. That was it. Is this normal or should I ask for more help or tests or anything?


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums Fumanchu, from the moderation team.

    As moderators we are here to help with any problems you may have on the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here who have a wide range of experiences of arthritis and the problems of living with the condition. Hopefully someone will have had similar experience to yourself and be able to offer you some advice. I can definitely guarantee, though, that you will get a great deal of support from the forum members which should make you feel much less alone.

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.

    Best wishes

  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Fumanchu
    Welcome to the forums.
    It sounds a lot more scary than it is really

    All my diagnosis start with Idiopathic {unknown origin} Chronic {long term} degenerative.....{will get worse or wont get any better} Arthritis.

    If its osteoarthritis it will be your GP that deals with it. Not a lot they can do. Just painkillers etc. Its only when you get really bad that you would need to go to a hospital and that is usually for surgery.
    This is from personal experience ....I'm not medically qualified

    If your only diagnosis was from the GP then possibly you do need a referral to the hospital and a rheumatologist to get a definite diagnosis then you know exactly what you are dealing with.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,569
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    WElcome from me too :)

    Ibuprofen can be a very effective pain relief as it also reduces inflammation. Alternated or taken alongside paracetamol many do get enough relief to carry on for a good while.

    I understand your extra concern is about the thumb and the arm not working properly. Sounded scary.

    I have had my arm stopping working properly too and was told it was to do with the shoulder-blade/rotator cuff or something like that. Might not be the same as you, but it happened a few times to me. My GP wasn't that interested either, but if it happened increasingly I would have gone back and asked for further tests.

    You may decide to do that yourself if it keeps happening and the same with your thumb.

    In the meantime you have found us lot ;)

    I hope you find the forums as helpful as I have


    Toni xx
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you but I am sorry you have had to find us. I suspect you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, which is due to degenerative changes in the joints, is very common and is dealt with by GPs. You are quite right, there is not a great deal to be done apart from pain relief, maybe an anti-inflammatory medication and gentle exercise to keep the muscles surrounding the affected joint/s as strong and flexible as possible.

    My rheumatologist deals with my auto-immune arthritis and the GP my osteo. Each leaves the other's speciality alone. :wink: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome to the the forum
    You could ask for steroid injections in your thumb, they worked brilliantly for me,
  • fumanchu
    fumanchu Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ok many thanks everybody - at least I know that it's the norm now. It's not scary - just annoying :mrgreen: