Hello - Osteoarthritis

Porscha
Porscha Member Posts: 2
edited 19. Nov 2018, 13:45 in Say Hello Archive
Hello everyone!

My name is Vikki. I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both knees in January 2016 when I was 32. It was a bit of a shock after spending two years being told by GPs and physios that I had "women's hips" which was causing my knee pain and discomfort (!!).

I was discharged immediately by the consultant after this news was broken and not given any advice or support. It has gotten worse in that time, and I had further x-rays earlier this year to see what's happening. I am unclear about what the x-rays said as they came back saying "she has OA" - which of course I already knew. I got referred to the lower limb service, but as I was moving out of the area and an appointment wasn't available until after my moving date, I didn't see anyone.

Since moving I've seen my new GP who was dismissive and grudgingly referred me for physio (although not heard anything yet so I have no idea if she has / how long the waiting list is / what they can do to help).

I have only co-codamol for pain relief as I can't take anti-inflams and despite having asked for further advice on pain relief this has not been forthcoming - the co-codamol wasn't even prescribed for the arthritis!

I'm almost 35 now and as much as I like to be active, it's getting more difficult. Walking for longer than 10 minutes causes pain and fatigue and certain movements cause incredibly sharp shocking pain in my knees. Stairs are so painful.

I feel like I've hit a brick wall in terms of help. Is this just going to get worse until I need replacements?

I would really, really like to hear from other people in their 30s with knee OA as I haven't met anyone else as yet.

I'm generally a fairly positive person, so I really hope you all don't think I'm a big gloom merchant with this fairly whingey hello! Hopefully I can be of help or support to others in the future.

Comments

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

    I’m sure you will enjoy your time as a member of our forum, you will find lots of others with osteoarthritis.

    I’m glad you got a referral to a physio, they can explain your x-rays to you and maybe even what women’s hips are other than the obvious!

    There are exercises which do help, I have osteoarthritis in the knees myself so speak from experience and I also use other therapies like heat, a hot wrap is bliss when the pain is worse. I have a tens machine which is very good even though I forget I’ve got it until someone on here mentions it!

    Here’s some info on knee arthritis

    https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/osteoarthritis-of-the-knee/

    It’s quite comprehensive and you will see there are other medicines your doctor could look at prescribing.

    You are young, I was in my early 40’s when I had my first x-rays done and it’s rare to be offered a knee replacement before age 60-ish. They last around 15 years, clearly some will last much longer and others shorter but you would likely need a replacement which isn’t ideal. It’s also a big operation, very invasive, and takes months to recover. If you accept that, work out ways to keep doing the things that are most important to you and how to manage the pain when it’s severe you can do really well.

    The first step to that is to keep posting- let us lighten the load and have some fun along the way

    Take care
    Yvonne x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I began with an auto-immune arthritis (psoriatic, PsA) back in 1997 when I was 37, that in turn led to OA which was diagnosed in 2011. I know what you mean about feeling abandoned, the trouble with OA is it is very common and doctors can do very little so we are left to get on with it.

    It is increasingly common for younger people to be diagnosed with OA, it is not just the preserve of the elderly. There are still GPs out there, however, who still think it is and I suspect they don't think to consider it a possibility when a younger person reports with the early signs and symptoms. Of the two I have I find the OA much more straightforward to deal with and easier to manage, it affects both ankles, both knees and both hips plus some stuff in the upper body. I have found that acidic foods aggravates it, as does cold and damp weather; I can exercise some control over the food but not the weather. I have learned over the years to pace myself, to prepare for events by resting more and to recover from them in the same way but I am very lucky in that I am an old, retired bird with no children or family apart from The Spouse so life can be tailored to suit me.

    I too use cocos for pain relief (30/500), it dulls enough of the sharper edges to allow me to get on. I exercise regularly in one way or another despite the pain, it is necessary to keep one's muscles as strong and flexible as possible to better support the joints. Excercise is low-impact (my favourite is the cross-trainer at the gym) but I don't swim because the effect on my joints as soon as I leave the support of the water is not worth it. I am in pain 24/7 but am used to it, I find its feedback useful so I know when to stop an activity and have a rest (which is why I am here now). Stairs are difficult, for years I have gone up like a three year old (less-worse leg first, worst leg joins it) and when going down the worst leg first etc. but coming down backwards is also another way to do it. We moved house because I could not cope with the stairs, here there are still stairs but I can live on the ground floor and climb them only for exercise (which I do, every little helps to keep my knees flexing and muscles working). I do my post-op physio exercises daily, I always have. The ops I have had have not included joint replacement, I was refused aged 52 for being too young and as things are far worse now I probably won't bother, the thought of being pain-free in two areas is terrifying because it will emphasize the fact that everywhere else isn't.

    I use distraction as my main form of pain relief, if I am not focussing on the pain it definitely recedes. My rheumatologist ignores the OA and my GP ignores the PsA, I can't ignore either. I rarely see the medics, what little they are doing is the best there is. After so long I know what's what and used to coping, for people still in the early days it's far harder. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome from me too.

    I'm not in my 30's (Not for a long time) but I was when I had my first knee replacements. (I'd had RA since I was 15.)

    Physio is vital if we are to retain strength and movement but, increasingly, we really do have to chase these things up to ensure they are really happening si, in your shoes, I'd ask at the surgery if you'd been referred yet and, if so, ring the hospital to see how long the waiting list is. If you could take a cancellation at short notice that might speed up your appointment.

    Very many of us can't take NSAIDS for one reason or another byt there is more to pain relief than cocodamol. Nothing really takes the pain away but things can relieve it temporarily. You could also ask to be referred to a pain clinic who deal with such things.

    Frankly, it will get worse but we can delay that and lessen the pain by our lifestyle choices. Other than that I'd just endorse all that the others have said. Oh and do try to find a GP in the practice with whom you can get on well and speak honestly. Arthritis is enough. We don't need to be battling docs too.
  • Alisonbowler
    Alisonbowler Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello there!
    I have OA which started in my late 30's but it took years for the doctors to believe me or send me for x-rays.I was give anti-depressants which I didn't take. When they finally did do an x-ray in my late 40's the doctor called me in and said "You have severe advanced OA. Why is it so bad..!!" I'd been telling them for years how bad it felt! I started with Nsaids which helped but had to stop taking them due to side effects. I've been on paracetomol since. The doctor has recently cut this prescription down to 4 a day so I'm going to try going without and ignoring it through distraction. I find Cannabis oil helpful, it doesn't stop the pain but somehow makes me feel more able to cope. I'm also going on a Pain Management course in January which I'm hoping will give me some fab strategies to cope!
    I think you have to accept your diagnosis and accept the inevitable life style changes that will happen. I used to work in Horticulture which I loved, and go out walking for miles in my beautiful countryside where I live. Now I make myself go out for a walk every day, partly for the exercise but mostly to release those endorfins and make myself feel like I've acheived something!
    Don't forget you are not alone with your OA. Chin up!xx
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Alisonbowler and welcome to the forums from the moderation team.

    I am very sorry to hear about your severe Osteoarthritis and that it took such a long time to be diagnosed. I am very pleased that you are going on a Pain Management course soon and hope it gives you plenty of ideas to help. There are many people on here who struggle to take anti-inflammatory medication unfortunately, myself included, so you have my sympathy. On the subject of Cannabis Oil I know very little but this NHS link might be helpful?

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/medical-cannabis/


    This information is about osteoarthritis and is very comprehensive:

    https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/osteoarthritis/

    Your attitude as far as exercise is concerned and adapting to the changes in your life will stand you in good stead. We have a great community here, with lots of experience of arthritis, who I know will make you very welcome and help in any way they can please join in wherever you want to.

    I look forward to seeing you posting in future.

    Best wishes

    Ellen.
  • YogaJones
    YogaJones Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Vikki

    I just wanted to say hello as I'm 31 and I was diagnosed today with OA in my right knee. Lovely to meet you! Happy to chat sometime!

    Yoga

Who's Online

26
bosh
bosh
hea87
hea87
MammaBuckz
MammaBuckz
+23 Guests