Sukipo Member Posts: 2
edited 20. Jul 2018, 09:45 in Say Hello Archive
I have just been diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis of both knees.
I saw my doctor last week for the results of my X-rays which I had the previous week and have been given 3 day patches for pain relief. To be honest I am feeling pretty low, I am 66 and can hardly walk. It has come on so suddenly and the thought that I will be sat in front of a TV for the rest of my life is difficult to get out of my thoughts.
The doctor did say that it will subside but will come back.
I have searched without success to find out how often typically people experience flare ups.
Also I am interested in people’s experience of driving would it help if I change my car for an automatic?


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there,

    Try not to be too downhearted, I'm sure you won't be left with only the tv for company, you have us for starters!

    I have osteoarthritis of the knees and my experience has been
    See how bad it is
    Try pain relief/physio
    Last as long as possible (though I was 45 when it started)
    Finally have knee replaced

    Keeping active is important because your new knee, whenever you get one, will be left with your tendons, muscles etc that you had already. Your recovery relies on them being as strong as possible, and you have to exercise although it hurts. I'm 6 months into Daisy new knee and it's going well. I still have pain in my tissues, it still hurts to bend as much as I need to - I want to ride my bike eventually. My consultant said my knee and inside tissues will take as long to heal as it takes my scar to go from pink to white, about a year. My GP said its a brutal operation so make allowances, don't expect too much too soon.

    Am I glad I had it - YES! Daisy is so much better than old knee, I can do much more already and it will get even better! I believe next Jan is new knee on the other side and I'm keen to go ahead

    I do hope I haven't put you off, I prefer to know what's going to happen and everyone's story is different, lots on here have had one knee replaced, many both knees and some both knees together!

    Here is the leaflet on Osteosarthritis of the knee by Arthritis Research


    I still drive a manual car, I had 12 weeks off after the operation- until I could safely perform an emergency stop.

    Sadly re flares etc they can be often or not, as your arthritis is severe maybe you will have more than the average

    Do keep posting, let us know how you get on

    Take care
    Yvonne x
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,428
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome from me too :D

    It's a shock, isn't it? And the shock is compounded by the fact that the 'normal' sequence, when we feel pain, is to go to the doc who will give us something to sort it out. Unfortunately, with arthritis that doesn't happen. We have to learn to live with it.

    I've been living with it since I was 15 (RA first then OA too) and I promise you I watch very little TV :wink: Sitting and nursing it only encourages it and also the more we think about pain the more we experience it. The more we can distract ourselves from it the easier it gets. After operations (I've had both knees and hips replaced) I've been able to delay my next lot of pain relief by about two hours just by distracting myself one way or another. That doesn't mean I don't feel it. Far from it :roll: But it does mean I don't concentrate on it and so I leave myself with more room for manoeuvre with the pain relief. (Pain killers? - never :lol: )

    As Yvonne has said, exercise is essential. It has to be the right kind, not putting too much stress on the affected joints, so swimming and cycling are good but other forms are available :D

    There's no denying that some things have to be given up but I've made a point of taking up some new interest whenever I've had to give up an old one. That's how I've come to do some really interesting things – Riding for the Disabled (I'd never ridden before) and an Open University module in composition to name but two.

    Personally, I don't regard my OA as flaring. It simply gets bad for a while whenever I've overdone things. You'll learn, by trial and error, what constitutes overdoing things. And you'll learn how to avoid them or just make the tasks easier. My walk-in shower, with seat, and cordless vac are my favourite 'aids' right now.

    I can't really help re the car as I was about 15 years into RA before I learnt to drive so it's always been an automatic for me. Gears are certainly tough on hands and I expect they're not too good for knees either but my cars have all required adaptations too.

    There is plenty of pain relief about. I've never done patches. I prefer to keep mine to a minimum so that I can gauge if I'm doing too much. It's possible to have steroid injections into the knees. They work well for some for several weeks but don't work for everyone and subsequent ones tend to work less well. Nevertheless I had them and was grateful before having my knees replaced.

    You really will get the hang of coping with this nasty disease. And we will be here to help all the way.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I know many healthy people who sit slumped in front of the telly. I am not healthy in one way (psoriatic arthritis, osteo arthritis plus fibromyalgia) with around forty affected joints: pain is 24/365, sleep is shallow and things are not easy but I don't feel ill because I don't think I am. I have just returned from the Latitude festival held in Suffolk. Payback a'plenty is currently happening but that is more than compensated for by the memories and laughter over the weekend.

    I am lucky because I was born with auto-immune nonsense so some of this is just more of the same. I started the auto-immune one in 1997 when I was 37, being diagnosed with osteoarthritis back in 2011 was a shock because I naively thought people had one or the other. :lol: My OA does not flare, it worsens when I overdo things so to a certain extent, how it behaves is within my control. It affects my ankles, knees, hips, left shoulder and my neck is getting creaky. I have learned to pace myself, I use the pain feedback as a cue to rest and I take at least two doses of my pain relief, one in the morning for the day and the second at night to help me go to what I laughingly call sleep (it's more shallow dozing). I am in my 22nd year of this nonsense so used to it, being new to is hard.

    I've lost count of how many people have suggested my getting an automatic car, having experienced one I can see no benefit whatsoever as one foot is still on a pedal, the only things move less often are the left leg and left arm/hand. Big deal. It tickles me that those without my troubles have no hesitation in telling me how to improve things to make my life 'easier'. Idiots.

    We get it because we've all got it. DD