Hello, 24 yr old newbie needing advice

mj3 Member Posts: 3
edited 24. Sep 2015, 06:17 in Say Hello Archive

Im looking for some advice about possible arthritis, and I'm hoping someone here can help :) I'm 24 and haven't been able to walk properly for 5 months due to pain and stiffness in my right forefoot - the podiatrist gave me insoles and said it could be early arthritis. My foot is just as bad, and the flare-ups (after walking/driving etc) are getting worse. Has anyone had this problem?

My GP wasn't any help and a follow up with the podiatrist is 6 weeks away, so any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks :)


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    Welcome to the forum. I am sure you will find support, advice, and light relief here.

    I am one of the moderation team, we all have one or more arthritis "hangers on" or look after family with the ame. If you need help with the technicalities of the forum just get in touch via a personal mesage.

    CK Mod.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,224
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome to the forum :) Arthritis of any type can start in the 20s, or even much earlier, but I'm surprised your doc hasn't been a bit more explicit about your problem. If (s)he thinks it's osteoarthritis (OA) (s)he should have said so and if an auto-immune kind then you should at least have had blood tests done with a view to a referral to a rheumatologist if it does prove to be auto-immune.

    Lots of questions spring to mind. Have you injured that foot previously? Do you wear shoes that might aggravate any problems there?

    We're not medics so can't diagnose anything but I think, in your shoes (no pun intended :roll: ) I'd go back to the GP and ask what he / she thought was the problem. If arthritis, which type? (Have any family members got it?) A referral to a physiotherapist might help.
    I wouldn't expect much, if anything, to change after you next see the podiatrist though I hope the orthotic insoles will help. (They might take a bit of getting used to.) The person to ask is the GP and I hope you can get to the bottom of it.
  • mj3
    mj3 Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for your reply. I can't find any shoes that don't aggravate the problem to be honest, I've tried everywhere. My GP tested for "inflammation" but said all was normal.. I'm probably over concerned because I'm also diabetic, and my nan has RA, but the pain is getting so bad I'm starting to limp.
    Thanks, I will go back to my GP. I was just wondering how other people got their diagnosis and what the pathway was because the Dr basically showed no interest or concern :/
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, that doesn't sound so good, does it? Although GPs are becoming more enlightened about arthritis, especially the fact that one does not have to be over 60 to have it, there are some who may not consider it a culprit due to your youth. For the same reason I am not surprised that the podiatrist has suggested arthritis as a cause, they must see many with feet trouble who have either osteo or an auto-immune kind (I have both).

    I concur with Sticky, I think it time to return to the GP to voice your concerns, you are certainly (and sadly) not too young for an arthritis to be affecting you, the youngest person I have come across on here was 18 months old. I wish you well and please let us know how things go. DD
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,279
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello mj3 and aw warm welcome to the forum, so I cant offer any advice but I do wounder about some of these GPs we know they are busy..but the least they could have done is send you for bloods,
    When you have seen the podiatrist I would ask to for your bloods to be tested or be referred to a rheumy, who will do all the test needed..good luck
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,224
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have to wear surgical shoes as I can't walk in any others but I know on here people recommend Hotter and Crocs.

    I think you are right to be concerned because, if you already have diabetes you could really do without 'collecting' another lifelong disease. However, if you do have one, the sooner it's diagnosed and treated the better.

    As DD says, some GPs have very poor understanding of arthritis. You say your Nan has RA and you yourself have Type 1 diabetes both of which are autoimmune diseases. That doesn't mean to say you have an autoimmune arthritis but it does make it a little more likely.

    I'd go back to the GP, maybe armed with some information from here http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/@2160/Gettingadiagnosis and maybe ask for physio too.
  • jamart
    jamart Member Posts: 27
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello I found my doctor wasn't much help when I went to see him about my ankle pain, he told me it was arthritis just by looking at it, prescribed me with naproxen and sent me on my way. As I walked (limped) out of the surgery I saw a poster about referring yourself for physio, so I took the number and called them. I was sent to see a physio and she referred me to a podiatrist, who then wrote a letter to my gp saying that I should be referred to see a orthopaedic surgeon, which resulted in me having a fusion op on my subtalor joint. It took about 2 years after the initial physio appointment till I had the op but it was well worth it in the end, I can now walk pain free!
  • emmaadams
    emmaadams Member Posts: 140
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hello mj3 i found my GP to be somewhat like your's it has taken me 5 years 2 lots of referrals to physio an MRI and an operation to be diagnosed with OA in my knees aswell as possible OA in other areas .. they just wouldn't listen to me as (they said i was to young to have arthritis) about the pain and just kept prescribing pain killers and ointments . i went back and back again until they finally referred me to orthopaedics and they requested the MRI . it took me several years and seeing countless new doctors and even some nurses but i finally got a diagnosis . .... i to have to wear insoles in my shoes and go to see the podiatry every 6 months also .. i hope that you GP will listen to you a bit more and send you for bloods and to physio .. just keep nagging them and complaining you will hopefully get someone who will listen you

    emma x
  • ITLSusan
    ITLSusan Applicant2 Posts: 74
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The problem the GP's have is that there is no way to diagnose OA. It's really a diagnosis of exclusion. In over 45's the procedure nowadays is to make the diagnosis clinically - without xray or mri.

    I'm not sure what the situation with younger people is. But it's still a diagnosis of exclusion. They can't do a test and confirm OA. I know from speaking to a GP friend that they (or she at least) is VERY reluctant to make an OA diagnosis in young people because it essentially means giving up on them. Label them with an incurable disease and that chances of them finding a complete resolution is slim.

    Here's what they have to say about foot OA:

    "There are many causes of pain in the foot that are not due to OA and cannot be covered here, but OA commonly affects the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint (hallux rigidus)."

    The best way to help things along is perhaps to look through the causes of foot pain yourself and see if any seem to fit. If so, you can then print out the info and take it to your GP.


    A harmless little self-help thing you could try is to look into the possibility of trigger points. Don't underestimate the intense pain and other issues that apparently harmless little knots in the muscles can cause! Trigger points tend to refer pain from other parts of the body - look here to see if you can find any likely candidates:


    Best of luck! Too early to assume the worst :)