Hello Im a Newbie

Jules70 Member Posts: 65
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:04 in Living with arthritis

Im a newbie to this site and this is my first post
Here is my story so far:

In May 2017 i started with Right knee pain,out of the blue,and started having difficulty squatting ,kneeling and my knee felt very unstable.
I was working as a home support worker. at the time,and was struggling with physical aspects of m job.
I was referred to see a physio, who advised i needed to go back to my GP who referred myself for a MRI scan.
I had to wait 6 weeks for a scan, which revealed i had a tear to my medial meniscus ,knee bursitus and a sprain to one of my ligaments.
Following the scan i was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon after 10 week wait,and was told i would have to have an Arthroscopy as a day case to investigate my knee pain.
On Nov 5th 2018 i went in to have my op.
I had to take 3 months off work and subsequently got put on half pay by my employer,which caused myself alot of hardship.
I didnt return to see the surgeon until January 2019 and i had a 7 week wait after my surgery,to see anybody at hospital.
After my op i wasnt seen by medical team,and had no idea what the findings were until i saw the surgeon.
In January i was told by my surgeon that there was no tear to my meniscus and i had stage 3 Oesteoarthiritis in my patellarfemoral joint and in the medial compartment of my knee.
This came as a huge shock, as i had no idea this was the cause of my knee pain.
I was given cortisone injection in my knee at the surgery and consequently have had further 2 injections since then,but with no affect.
I was told by the consultant i needed to change my job,as i was struggling with the physical side of it and also i was doing alot of driving at time, which wasnt helping my knee.
Whilst i was off work post op,i went for an interview to my local hospital, as it is only 10 mins away from where i live.
Over the pat 6 months, i have been managing to do my job but have been walking with a limp,since having my Arthroscopy.
Ive now been discharged from the hospital, as they are sayig im not a candidate for knee replacement because of my age,im only 49.
2 weeks ago the hospital where i work, made some organisational changes and i have been moved to the main hospital and have had to cover a ward which has resulted in myself having to walk further.
After only3 days of walking backwards and forwards every day,i started having pain in my good knee,and i was in agony all day.
When i got home,all the back of my good leg was swollen and i was unable to bend my knee back and was struggling to walk.
I went to my GP, and they sent me for a x-ray which im still awaiting results for.
For past 12 days ive been in terrible pain and im having great difficulty walking up down stairs,and walking in general.
I emailed my employer last week and told them i was struggling with all walking and if they could refer me to occ health.
Im currently on sick leave until i find out whats wrong with my knee/leg.
I got an email back from work and was told to use the lifts available,which didnt help.
I dont think thy believe me to be honest.
When i spoke to them last week all they interested in is how long im off for and when im going be back in.!!
Ive received a letter from work today saying ive been ref to occ health but no appts till 3rd october,what a joke!!,and HR are involved.
I feel under pressure to return to work next week, but realistically i dont know how i will be.
They have offered at work to pick me up outside the ward to cut down on the walking aspects,but im still none wiser as to what is wrong with my knee/leg.
Im taking naproxen bt doing nothing,as soon as i go out walking my knee swells up and i cant bend my leg back properly.
My worry is that my oesteoarthiritis has spread to my other knee,and im worried, as to implications about my job security,im already on probation, as i only started working there 6 months ago,and my knee was better when i went to work there,and i was managing where i was based before, as i was on one floor and there were lifts and it was office based.
I dont know how long it will be for results to come back? and im worried about my job, if theyre going get rid of me if xray comes back and its oesteoarthiritis.
Im already staruggle with one bad knee let alone2!!
I did ring arthiritis helpline last week,and they did advise myself to apply for PIP but ive only just started the process and it will take some time.I dont know if im eligible or not?
Im worried about the financial side of things at moment and how i will be able to manage and pay my bills if i cant work.
My husband is supportive, but he does not earn great wage and i know when i was on half pay for 3 months end of last year we were struggling and didnt have enough money to pay our bills.
I have 2 children aged 12 and 8 and this puts extra pressure on me,to bring money home.
Since having this Oesteoarthiritis it has impacted on my mood,and i feel socially isolated.
My husband works nights and im often on my own as he is at work or in bed.
I have always been independant and supported myself financially and cant stand the thought of not being able to work or have any money.
Ive felt quite emotional past couple weeks and dont really have anyone i can talk to about how im feeling,hence reason why im on here,to hopefully get some advice and support from people in the same position.
Ive always been fit well and never had any ailments up until this qesteoarthiritis started,it is the worst thing in world!!!
Any help or advice would be appreciated ?


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jules & welcome to our forums.

    I’m so sorry to hear of your sudden onset of osteoarthritis in your knee. When the body tries to cope with pain in one knee joint it often automatically puts additional strain on other good joints. This may be the cause of the horrible pains in your other knee.

    Luckily, you are investigating all this medically but a longer term treatment with appropriate medication will take awhile to sort out.

    Here is a page from our website which hopefully will provide you with some helpful information on coping both with the pain and the difficult emotions that come with a sudden & shocking change.


    Our members may be able to give you advice from their own experiences on help with work issues. It may well be worthwhile contacting Citizens Advice as a first stop for this.

    You are not alone and do keep coming back to ask questions and to tell us how you are getting along.

    Best wishes
  • crinkly1
    crinkly1 Member Posts: 156
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Jules.

    I'm sorry to know what a huge impact your diagnosis of OA is having on your life. Something similar happened to me at the same age as you are and it was very difficult to get my head around it all. I knew a number of people with severe disabilities so I understood that OA is not 'the worst thing in the world' but did find it isolating and that there was little regular or effective support from the NHS.

    I can't advise on present work matters but went through the Occupational Health process and retired at 50 when my OH was, unfortunately, made redundant and we had still dependent children so it wasn't the easiest of times.

    I'm aware that access to Benefits is now harder. With fewer NHS Rheumatologists and less in the kitty for joint surgery many Health Authorities impose very strict criteria for performing TKRs and age is often one of these, although it isn't applied in the same way for private surgery. I try to keep muscles in good nick with swimming and by gentle cycling on level trails so I retain as much mobility as possible.

    While you are waiting for answers I do hope you find some help from the Versus Arthritis booklets and blogs plus encouragement from this forum. OA may seem a formidable journey at first but you are doing all the right things and it's not all bad!

    Try to be kind to yourself while you are coming to terms with something so unexpected and potentially life-changing.