Inflammation on the knees

Daniellescott29
Daniellescott29 Member Posts: 4
edited 24. Jun 2015, 04:45 in Say Hello Archive
Hi my name is Danielle

I'm currently a student nurse and having a stressful time at getting my head around possible diagnosis. I have had fluid on my left knee from August last year then my right knee flared up in December. They were not drained and injected until April. They have flared up since then but the consultant is unsure if it's reactive arthritis and they flared up again due to my occupation of being on my feet all the time or if I have chronic arthritis. I am finding it difficult to come to terms with and am becoming convinced due to the pain that it is chronic arthritis. My consultant has not been the best and through word of mouth from my GP I was told the possible medication if I have arthritis can cause infertility. It feels like a toss up between my career and a family ATM. Could anyone give advice or had a similar diagnosis?

Comments

  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Danielle,

    Welcome to the forum from the Moderation Team. You will find lots of help and advice from the forum members, all of whom have one or more types of arthritis or care for someone with arthritis.

    If you have any queries regarding the site just send a message to moderator and we will look after you.

    Take care
    Mod Yx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,339
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Danielle and welcome from me, too.

    A diagnosis of any kind of arthritis comes as a shock to anyone but, as you are just beginning on a career which is physically demanding, that must make it even more scary.

    You are seeing a consultant (presumably a rheumatologist) and that is good though I wonder why you feel he / she 'has not been the best'. Diagnosing any form of inflammatory arthritis can often be a long drawn out process and not very clear cut. Some of us neatly tick all boxes from the start but many others don't.

    Presumably, your consultant has asked about any family history of auto-immune diseases. I believe it's unusual – though definitely not impossible – for an autoimmune arthritis to start in the large joints.

    As for medication, the first port of call with autoimmune arthritis is a DMARD but these are also sometimes used for ReA (Reactive Arthritis). I know a few people on here have had to come off them before trying for a baby but I've not heard anyone mention infertility caused by them. I do know that methotrexate, probably the most common and effective starting DMARD, was originally brought out as a chemotherapy drug and is still used for that in much greater doses than we have for our arthritis. At that level it might well cause infertility.

    You might find more info here to help you http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Listedbysubject
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Daniellescott29
    Daniellescott29 Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your reply it's really helpful. My consultant is doing what is neccassary however he is not very understanding and has explained things very briefly to me telling me to use google and to speak to a nurse about meds but I've never so much as seen a nurse when I've been, my GP however has been great! I think there's a bit of denial there as I'm only 25 and starting out in a new career I'm finding it hard to get my head around.

    Thanks for your help
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I empathise greatly with you because this is how my auto-immune arthritis began, in my left knee in 1997 then my right knee joined in in 2003. I went for five years without any form of medication because my then GP didn't recognise what was going on and I was used to GPs being good at what they do (I have had auto-immune troubles all my life).

    There are over three hundred kinds of auto-immune arthritic conditions so pinpointing which it might be can take some time. I associate reactive arthritis with the kind that is triggered by an infection (and can then clear after a period of time)whereas with my kind (eventually determined to be psoriatic) my knees would swell with any form of stress being placed on the joints, be it standing still, walking, doing exercise or sitting with my knees bent for too long. Have you had any blood tests or Xrays done? If so what did they show? DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,339
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    A doc tells you to google :o That's a new one and no, not very helpful.

    Of course it will be hard to get your head round the whole thing. We have no medical qualifications on here but we do have a lot of varied experiences between us so, if we can help with anything, please don't hesitate to ask. Living With Arthritis is the best place as more people look on there :)
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Daniellescott29
    Daniellescott29 Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Is reactive arthritis the same as auto immune arthritis? The consultant said it could just take time for it to go away but reading people's experiences, even if it is reactive it seems it's something I will have to live with from now on? I just wish I knew what caused it. Thanks for all your help
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,339
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    No, it's not. Usually ReA will clear up eventually. Auto-immune forms of arthritis don't.

    Try reading here, Danielle. It's a good, trustworthy site and has quite a lot of info. Sorry to be so abrupt but I'm in a bit of a rush right now :)

    http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions/reactive-arthritis.aspx
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It is the same in that it's an auto-immune form of arthritis, but differs in that it can clear (which may take time) until another infection is contracted. The other kinds tend to hang around.

    It may be worth your while to start keeping a brief diary of pain and tiredness levels, what helps and what exacerbates. This will give your consultant a broader picture of what is happening with you and that is important: we vary so much in how we are affected by this condition. Are your knees hot to the touch? If so an ice pack (I recommend small bags of frozen peas, clearly labelled not to be eaten) as useful in that they can, briefly, relieve the worst of the swelling and pain: wrap them in a teatowel rather than placing them directly on your joints. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,339
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Whoops :oops: DD's right. (She usually is :D ). ReA is auto-immune. Sorry for the misinformation, Danielle.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,135
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Danielle
    Sorry I cant help but just want to welcome you to the forum, I hope it helps to talk about it,and I do wish you well with your future..things are changing all the time with new meds appearing so hopefully you will benefit from them..
    Love
    Barbara