New Member with 'wear & tear' assume that is Osteo.

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OuchADK
OuchADK Member Posts: 6
edited 2. Mar 2017, 10:57 in Say Hello Archive
Hi just joined. I am interested in more information about Osteoarthritis as I was 'diagnosed' with 'wear and tear' by my GP in a 5 minute consultation. I am not very satisfied that this was sufficient to know exactly what the problem might be and am increasingly in pain primarily in my right knee. At 55 I have always been very active and maintained normal weight but over the past year this has become harder given the increased pain I have.

I had to give up running and now limit myself to yoga and pilates, but there are days that I can barely walk and driving is just about unbearable. I have gone from charging up stairs two at a time to sometimes crawling up stairs in a short time.

Sometimes it is better than others, it does seem to flare-up on occasion. At the moment I can barely sleep because of the pain. Any suggestions

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi ouch
    Welcome to the forum, I too suffer from osteoarthritis and have got 2 new knee replacements and am waiting for a hip replacement I can understand what you are going through at the moment the pain at night is not good.I had to go back to my GP twice and once I told her I had sleepless nights I was referred to a Orthopeadic surgeon and was told I needed a replacement which I will have in 6 weeks or less.
    Thank you for sharing your story, all the best on the forum where all are sympathetic and understanding.
    Christine :sun:
  • tupney
    tupney Member Posts: 28
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Ouch, I was told recently that my left knee had OS, and the doctor seemed very 'casual' about it all.
    They have to tell people everyday, so that they recite a whole block of words that don't mean much to them. But, it means A LOT TO YOU.
    Push to see somebody (anybody) who can tell you for sure what's happening. After that, read, read, read all that you can, so that you won't be scared by not knowing what the #!?# is going on.
    Knowledge is all you need.
    Thinking of you, Tupney. :animal_busy:
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello, it's nice to meet you but I am sorry you have had to find us.

    I too have OA, it affects both ankles, both knees and both hips (other places too) but for me these are the key areas. OA affects the majority of the ten million or so arthritics in the UK (which is not helpful when faced with such a diagnosis, especially if it's a new thing). GPs deal with it and they can offer pain relief, maybe an anti-inflammatory medication and a referral to physiotherapy. What they cannot offer is something to make it go away, which seems very unfair in this healthy day and age.

    This must be very difficult for you if you are used to good, pain-free health. I am now close to starting my 21st year of this nonsense (I began aged 37) so it is hard for me to give advice but I wished to acknowledge your post: I understand the challenges you are facing and they are not easy to overcome. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi there and welcome from me too.

    Yes, 'wear and tear' is another name for OA. Many feel the term trivialises their pain but my husband prefers it as he likes to think a sportsman such as he is not going to have arthritis. Unlike his wife :roll:

    GPs can be a bit dismissive as they see a lot of it and there's not much they can do other than prescribe pain relief and / or antiinflammatories. Physio is good as long as it's not weightbearing ie swimming amd cycling is good but running is bad. You seem to be doing much that will help with your pilates and yoga but you might need to cut back on what you used to be able to do. If you look at the grey menu above you ahould find the first two tabs useful. Arthritis Care has some good info as does ARUK but beware of random googling. There's a lot of misinformation out there.

    An x-ray could determine how bad the damage is but pain experienced doesn't necessarily equate to damage done. Your HP cam prescribe pain relief and antiinflammatories. A stick might help with the walking and a knee support, if used briefly, might help with the tougher times.

    Remember we're always here for information and support and good luck.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi OuchADK

    Just an additional note to the above greetings: if you haven't already seen them, there are lots of pages of information on the Arthritis Care web site that you can explore.

    You might like to start here:
    Osteoarthritis : https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/do-i-have-arthritis/a-z-of-types/62-osteoarthritis

    Best wishes
    Brynmor
  • hippy
    hippy Member Posts: 55
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi there :-)

    I feel I could have written your post! I have been back and forward to my GP for the last few years with problems in my knees. The GP seemed uninterested and said "Wear and tear" without any investigation except an X-ray. The GP informed me that the X ray showed nothing so they would assume it was a torn cartillage (cartillage doesn't show up in X ray) Anyway, I changed GP and my new one sent me for physio. The exercises really helped! He also sent me for another X ray and when I asked him about it not showing up cartillage, he explained to me that yes, this is true, however, if the cartillage is wearing away, the bones are closer togetherand in some cases it is bone on bone. It would have been so helpful to have that explained to me before.
    So, the exercises really helped and it was the physio who said to me that I most likely have osteoarthritis (I haven't seen the GP for official results yet as he is off on leave) He explinaed that on the basis of my symptoms and my response to physio, it was most likely.
    Anyway, my knee is much stronger but I am still having problems. My GP promised a referral to orthopoedics if the physio didn't fix the problem, so I am hoping he will stick to his word when I see him next week.
    If you don't feel your GP is helpful.....maybe see if you can see a different one?
  • tupney
    tupney Member Posts: 28
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    My GP took one look at my left knee and said 'OS', then said for me to have a x-ray. Looking at the results after, he said 'we don't like to replace knee's in under 65's'. As I am 62 I was a little (!?!) put out by this, as I just assumed that it was not that bad!.
    After taking the strong pain killers,with all the nasty side effects, the pain is down to 24 hr a day ache.
    I have been walking every day, which seems to be helping.
    I have been told that I can not use rub-in volarol ect because it would 'interfer' with the one soluble asprin
    that I take with all the other 9 tablets/capsules that I have to take for my Diabetes.
    I hope that being on this site will help you, the many different people have helped me a great deal.
    Tupney. :)
  • OuchADK
    OuchADK Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you all for your kind wishes and advice.

    This started about a year ago when my knee twisted (slightly) while running. I was told then it was probably torn meniscus and given physio. To be honest the physio wasn't that helpful. I did do the exercises and still do as they are much like what I do anyway. But the pain only got worse and that is when the GP told me it's wear and tear.

    It just seems to flare- up really badly sometimes and I go from thinking I am still 40(ish) to feeling more like I'm 90. I would like confirmation that it is osteo and not another arthritis. I was told as a child I had juvenile arthritis, (it was a get out of jail free card for PE) but I did realise as I grew-up the more active I was the better my joints felt.

    My mother had rheumatoid arthritis but was dead by my age (not arthritis - obviously)

    I am not keen to take strong drugs or to have surgery I just want to know how I can stay active as long as possible, how I can keep driving (because that hurts the most) and how I can sleep through the night.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Maybe you should go back to your GP, especially if they are unaware of your own previous diagnosis of JIA amd your mother's autoimmune problem. How old were you when diagnosed? Which meds did you take amd when did the rheumatologist decide you no longer needed them? How did it affect you then? Which joints?

    As you will know from your JIA days, autoimmune arthritis amd OA are quite different beasts. Not everyone who has an autoimmune arthritis is sero-positive. On the other hand it's unusual for an autoimmune arthritis to confine itself to one joint. I thimk your previous time with JIA might hold some clues. Do ensure yoir GP is aware of it.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • OuchADK
    OuchADK Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Truth is Sticky wicket - I don't believe I ever had JIA. I was never on any meds at all. It felt to me in retrospect that it was a label my mother was given just to give my joint pain a name. (a bit like in the '90's any kid with a cough was told they had asthma and given ventilin)I simply learned to live with it, though it was very real and very debilitating, it wasn't crippling. I do think that what I have now probably is down to wear and tear, but I want to be sure. How can you possibly know what is the correct exercise regime if you don't know what the actual problem is. From what I have read osteo and r arthritis are quite different.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    There are around three hundred kinds of auto-immune inflammatory arthritis and osteo, which, although it comes under the same umbrella term, is a different beast. Some GPs call it wear and tear in an attempt to explain why it occurs but that is less than helpful. OA can result from joint trauma such as a physical accident or the effect of an auto-immune arthritis (which is why I have mine). To some extent I can control my OA by not over-doing things, breaking tasks down into manageable chunks, resting and taking a small but regular amount of pain relief. Driving is painful (especially with both knees and ankles affected) but not impossible. The aspect of it which is out of my control is the weather, there is no doubt that cold and damp aggravate it.

    The auto-immune, however, is definitely out of my control. It does what it wants, when it wants despite the necessary medications I take for that. It prefers the heat and humidity of summer to have a bite to remind me it's still there. Arthritis of any kind is a generous gift. :| DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    It does sound rather odd if you were diagnosed but never offered any DMARDS. I'd have thought that, if you did have JIA, without meds you'd be in a bad way by now. I was diagnosed at 15 with RA. There were no decent DMARDS on offer then with the result that I had my first knee replacement 20 years later and, by then, I had both RA and OA in virtually every joint.

    I'm not sure you need worry about the different types of arthritis re exercise insofar as it's mostly the same advice for all of us regardless of which type(s) of arthritis we have. Have you read the AC booklet on exercise? (Click on the 'Managing Arthritis' tab above.) Basically, we should all do range of movement exercises whatever our situation but only do strengthening exercises when not flaring. Exercise which puts pressure on the joints isn't recommended eg cycling and swimming is good for knees but running isn't.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • johnbluefin
    johnbluefin Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi, I'm 52 and new to the site as well. I had similar experience with GP myself. I was still describing my symptons after a couple of mins when she stood up and opened the door clearly hinting for me to leave! Needless to say I changed GP promptly. I was told I had wear and tear Osteoarthritis and referred to so called specialist who spent less than 3 mins with me, did not examine me- just looked at my hands from five feet away! I therefore also have doubts about my diagnosis especially as no one has explained how the wear and tear can spread from my fingers to be simultaneously hurting in virtually every joint at once. As far as pain relief is concerned read up on the "pain relief" ladder if you have not already done so and be aware that different people react differently to drugs so keep trying different combinations ( under medical supervision) until you find one that at least knocks the edge off the pain. I find the worst part is the way the condition makes you feel lethargic and feeling "down" - especially at night when you cannot drop off to sleep. It's a real shocker to learn just how little the medical profession knows about the condition. After reading many conflicting articles i have concluded that no one knows what causes it, no one seems to be able to control it and no one can cure it. It seems the best that can be hoped for is that anti inflammatories slow it down, tablets offer some pain relief and excericise and physio limit disability. There is no one miracle food but some help marginally after trial and error to find them. All very grim and difficult to get your head around.
  • OuchADK
    OuchADK Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Sounds like many of us are in the same boat. I went back to a different GP yesterday and he took it a bit more seriously. I had bloods and an x-ray today and am now on the assembly line for a consultant appointment. Not keen on taking any meds. I am living on paracetemol and voltoral at the moment, though they only take the edge off. If I have to learn to live with pain, I think I can do that, I just want to know what the options are. But more importantly I do not want to give up on an active life. I do feel a bit like mostly I just want to curl up at the moment.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    In view of your past history I think it's good that you are being referred as you will hopefully find out what exactly is happening. Uncertainty makes everything harder.

    Believe me, none of us are keen on taking meds but, if we have an inflammatory arthritis, they are essential to hold it in check. Pain is another matter. We can choose how much we can or can't put up with.

    Whatever kind of arthritis you have you will not be asked to 'give up on an active life'. That would be to invite it in and give it full rein. But your choices of exercise might be more limited. The less flexible our bodies are the more flexible our minds must be.

    I'm sure the consultant's appointment will take a while but please do let us know how you get on.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • OuchADK
    OuchADK Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Good news for me -(I think). Finally saw a consultant who does not think I have arthritis at all. He is fairly certain it is a knee injury that can be dealt with. There are no indications on my x-rays that I have arthritis. So I am off for an MRI next week. The psychological affects of hearing that this is not arthritis has been great.

    It took me at least 3 visits to my GP over the course of a year to get referred (and that had to be private) - Key message: don't let your GP fob you off with a blanket diagnosis - insist on the investigations.

    I'll fill you in when I get the final results, but thank you all for your advice.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi,
    how wonderful to finally get some investigations that mean you will be certain of your diagnosis. As you say it's a relief to be recognised and to get some clear direction with your condition. Please keep us up-to-date with how you get on it would be lovely to hear from you.
    Best Wishes
    Sharon
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    It will be wonderful if you don't have arthritis and thank you for the update. It's always good to know how people are getting on, especially if the news is good.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright