How bad does it have to be?



I'm new here :)

Until a year ago I was a very active person, I was walking a lot and running 3 times a week. One day I got home from a run, took my trainers off and couldn't walk. An MRI scan confirmed osteoarthritis in my MTP joint on my left foot, this put an end to my running and for quite a long time I couldn't even walk without pain. At the end of October I had a steroid injection which took about 3 weeks to take effect but then gave me 2 months with only minimal levels of pain. The injection has worn off and I'm back where I started now. I've seen a podiatrist, got insoles for my shoes which I don't find help much, changed my footwear, use volatarol gel, take turmeric and glucosamine and have dead sea salt baths but I find nothing helps much, if it's going to hurt, it's going to hurt and there's not much I can do about it! I've also recently been having Bowen therapy which also hasn't helped.

So my question is, is there any point in having another injection when they don't last very long, I know with each injection you raise the risk of complications and damage, the injection itself is extremely painful. Should I push for surgery? If it fixes the problem and gets me out of pain then I'll do what I need to do.

I'm a 50 year old female, in the menopause, with an underactive thyroid (in case that's relevant). I still feel that I'm relatively young and the OA is stopping me from doing so much now, if there's an option to get it sorted, even if it involves surgery, then I'll do it.

Thanks in advance.



  • Sharon_K
    Sharon_K Member Posts: 460

    Hi Julia

    welcome to the online community, I am sorry to hear your story as it's clear that this osteoarthritis has really affected the quality of your life and as you say you are still young. Firstly I would say be gentle with yourself coming to to terms with something like this takes time and is difficult.

    As far as having another injection it really is a matter of personal choice but you are right they do not solve the problem in the long term. Have you had any guidance as to what might be a surgical option? With surgery again there is no guarentee that it will solve the issue of pain as feet are very complex and contain many bones. It would be worth having a very realistic conversation with an orthopeadic surgeon. I have found this information on our website that you may find useful

    I know we have some members here who will be able to share their experience with you. Please ask as many questions as you like, we are here to support you

    Best Wishes


  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 776

    Hi Julie. So sorry that the OA is having such a damaging effect on your quality of life. I've got midfoot arthritis which flares up every so often, but haven't had any surgery as yet. I have been told that the length of recovery time can be a problem with with foot surgery, so you may have to take that into consideration.

    However, after years of steroid injections - which are also very painful - into my arthritic thumb joints - I decided to opt for trapeziectomies on both and I am so pleased I made that decision. It can take a while for full recovery to take place and I have lost a little strength in my thumbs, but I now have no pain at all and can knit and crochet as I want.

    I agree with Sharon that a full and frank discussion with your consultant would be helpful in coming to a decision.

    All the best,


  • JCH187
    JCH187 Member Posts: 3
    Thank you for your replies. I’ve been under the care of the muscular skeletal clinic up until now, I’m not sure if my doctor is an orthopaedic surgeon or not, so that’s perhaps the first thing to find out. He said I had two surgical options, I don’t know the correct names for the procedures but one involved scraping the joint out and the other fusing it. The latter would probably give the best results but involved a longer recuperation time. I’m lucky that work have been great and I have the option to work from home so it’s not too disruptive. I also have an automatic car so can get about! It feels like the injections are just a sticking plaster and I’d rather just get on with trying to get it to a stage where the pain is minimal and tolerable.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520

    I am 23 years in with psoriatic arthritis and officicially 9 years in with osteo arthritis. I have numerous affected joints which I think makes life easier because, when everything hurts, nothing stands out. In my early days (when it was just my left knee which was affected) the pain was both disruptive and disturbing but as the disease progressed, and pain became a way of life, well, I can't say I don't notice it but I am so used to it that the thought of being without it is frightening.

    Another bonus is that my physical life has always been compromised due to poor health so I cannot miss what I never had. The auto-immune arthritis diagnosis came as no surprise because I was born with auto-immune junk whereas the OA diagnosis really threw me. Any form of arthritis is progressive and degenerative but every individual experience is different, n my case I think the OA had been grumbling away for years but I was not experienced enough to differentiate between the two: I am now.

    Arthritis has changed how I live my life but has not, and will not, change what I get from it. The good things still outweigh and outnumber the bad, yes, it would be nice not to be in constant pain but that ain't never gonna change, the physical damage is done in too many joints and cannot be undone. I take 30/500 cocdamol which dull enough of the sharper edges to allow me to get on, I keep my mind distracted because if I am not focused on the pain it appears diminished, I work with a personal trainer to cover the exercise bit and have replaced what I used to love doing with things that I enjoy nearly as much. DD

    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben