Wrist arthritis - how to manage since I have to use 2 sticks

Surrey
Surrey Member Posts: 4
edited 14. Jul 2016, 09:50 in Living with Arthritis archive
I have had OA in both knees, worse in my right one for 2 years now but the consultant said that at 43 I was way too young for knee replacements so have had lots of physio but my knees kept giving way and affecting my balance, so they gave me 2 crutches and 2 sticks which I have to use each time I leave the house. I have now been diagnosed with arthritis in my left wrist (my dominant stick/crutch hand) and its making using my sticks a painful nightmare. Anyone else in this position please ? Any ideas ? Have consultants appt this afternoon to discuss latest wrist MRI but it seems the only option is steroid injections (which I don't want to do as I have a huge phobia of needles and 90% of people I know who have had them say they don't work or they only work for a short time). Many thanks.

Comments

  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums. As mods we are here to help with any problems you may have on the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here with a wide range of experiences with arthritis and the problems of living with the condition. Just join in wherever you like you will be made very welcome.

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.

    All best wishes

    Mod Al
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,327
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello surrey and welcome to the forum.

    You certainly have a problem there. I have RA. It started in my fingers and soon progressed to my wrists and ankles but it was some time before my knees joined the party. I now have two knee and two hip replacements.

    I've never been able to use walking aids owing to the arthritis in my hands and shoulders. After operations I go first onto a gutter frame (a bit like a high zimmer where you place all your forearms on special rests) and then a zimmer but only briefly as I find it much easier to walk without anything.

    It's scary when your knees give way. Have you tried a rollator? I don't know whether or not that would be easier. In any case, we are not supposed to lean on walking aids but to use them for balance. That puts less stress on the hand and shoulder joints.

    I think you're right to be a little wary of steroids as too much / too often can be harmful but they do ensure we don't go down that route. I also think that, if they failed to work for 90% patients, the NHS wouldn't waste money on them. It's true they don't work for everyone but many, including me, have had very good results albeit temporarily. They tend to last about 2-3 months.

    Might a disability scooter be an option?
    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
    I use a rollator and find that very good (I have two kinds of arthritis and many affected joints). As Sticky said aids are there for balance and stability so, if you try a rollator ensure it's one of the L-shaped ones (mine is a Topro) because you can walk in a more upright position which eases the strain on knees etc. My hands rest easily on the ergonomic handles (I don't need to grip) and the brakes are easy to engage. With the basic square ones you tend to lean forward a little which is bad for the back. Mine has a seat so I can rest when needed. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • bubbles
    bubbles Member Posts: 6,508
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there surrey, welcome to the forum.
    I have a similar range of problems, with arthur in my hands, carpel tunnel, peripheral neuropathy and my knees give way without notice.

    I have found the coopers adjustable elbow crutches, with the comfortable handles, fish shaped. They seem to take some of the pressure off your hands and you can lean on the elbow piece as well.

    Here is a link to the ones I was given by the physio's. https://www.completecareshop.co.uk/mobility-aids/elbow-crutches/coopers-adjustable-elbow-crutches-with-comfy-handle

    The injections do help, not everyone, but a lot of people find they offer a great deal of relief, maybe for a short period of three months for example. I was a nurse, so I am well aware of people's phobias of needles. We used to use Emla cream, to numb the skin, either that or give a small local injection first, with a very fine needle. I am sure you would be ok, looking away and breathing nice and deep. Take care XX Aidan
    XX Aidan (still known as Bubbles).
  • Surrey
    Surrey Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all VERY much for sharing your experiences and very helpful suggestions, I am going to investigate all the ideas and see what works for me !
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for the thank you, it's good to hear from you again. You are right, you have to find what works for you and I hope that our experiences help you to do so: please let us know how you get on. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Surrey
    Surrey Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Turns out I cannot have the steroid injection as I am allergic to the steroids, so they have given me a huge black ugly wrist brace to wear during waking hours and since I cannot take oral antii inflammatories as I am an asthmatic, they have started me on Zacin cream 4 times a day - has anyone else had success with this please ? I am back on fischer handle crutches rather than sticks now. Thank you
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,327
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh that's very unlucky! I think it's quite rare for people to be allergic to steroids.

    I wore wrist splints for years off and on. (Necessarily off and on as some things can't be done with them on and, besides, over-use encourages the muscles to weaken.) I even had special 'night splints' They are very valuable and I attribute to the splints the fact that my wrists, when they fused themselves, fused in the straight, most-useful position.

    I think Zacin is capsaicin based. I've no idea if it works well or not but certainly peppers (the source of capsaicin) are supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties though it might just be chilli peppers.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright