Prioitising issues

palo Member Posts: 240

I tried ringing your helpline on Thursday but got no response. You were closed Friday and I tried again this morning and was told that you would call back within 2 days!

My issue is that I have arthritis in my hands, diagnosed last year, in my feet diagnosed in May, and June, and left knee, diagnosed last week.

I saw my consultant in May and he gave me a steriod injection for right toe (severe degeneration) and listed me of toe fusion op. I am seeing him on Wednesday as this has worn off and I have had 2 more diagnosis of arthritis.

Left toe is moderate and left knee is moderate to severe. All my arthritis is osteo.

Please advise me on what my options are likely to be, prognosis, what I should ask my consultant and how to prioritise any ops required.

Because of the arthritis in my hands holding sticks is almost impossible, can only manage for a few minutes.

Thank you


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,686
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You already know I'm not a member of the Helpline team, palo, but I can 'feel' your anxiety and, of course, our Helpline people will be very stretched as it's the holiday season.

    As a veteran of both arthritis and operations, I think the first thing you need to think about is what you would like to achieve. We all know that arthritis is for life and the most we can hope for from surgery is, normally, amelioration of one joint or another. Someone with a single dodgy joint caused by trauma might well be 'cured' after an operation but those of us with arthritis in several joints aren't so lucky. What is more important to you – your hands, knee or feet? It's a horrible choice, I know. And any operation requires proper ie lengthy recuperation. Without giving any operated joint the time, rest and exercises essential for recovery then the recovery won't happen so recovery times might be a good thing to ask about.

    Is your consultant a general orthopaedic surgeon or a foot specialist? If the latter, he'll only be dealing with your foot though he might refer you to a knee specialist after seeing the x-rays. If he's an 'all-in-one man' he will probably be the one to decide on your priorities according to damage done and the likely impact this will have on other joints.

    Being unable to hold sticks is not quite as daunting as it sounds. I've never been able to use them as my arthritis started in my hands. Post-op I'm always given firstly one of those high zimmers on wheels with arm rests. I soon graduate to a normal zimmer and, once home, simply walk round the furniture until all is strengthened again. Outside, I use nothing. It's scary and difficult but definitely possible. And many people use elbow crutches which take some of the strain off the hands. Also, if you can drive, you can usually get close enough to wherever you want to get to for the lack of walking aids to be no big problem. If you don't drive maybe lessons would be more important than any operation. I only learnt to drive when I got my first Motability car and what a difference that made!

    I hope Wednesday's appointment will go well and you will see a bit more light at the end of the tunnel t115006
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • palo
    palo Member Posts: 240
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you SW, with everything going on I just needed someone to talk to about these things.

    Your help is appreciated.
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,420
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Palo

    I'm sorry if you've had difficulties getting through to us at Helplines. We are somewhat short staffed at the moment, but I don't understand any message that says we'll call back in two days. Do try us again on 0808 800 4050 9.30-5pm

    However we are not medically trained, so cannot give individual medical advice. We would be happy to talk through things with you and see what's on your mind.

    Kind regards

  • palo
    palo Member Posts: 240
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your response.