Knee Osteoarthritis age 33


Hi Everyone,

Hope everyone is keeping safe and looking after themselves at the moment.

This is the first time I am posting and I don't think I really have any specific question, think its just gotten to a point where I am finding it all a bit much and my usual mechanism of pretending it isn't a big deal isn't really working that well and not helped by the fact that I am on the covid-19 NHS shielding list for asthma so cant go out the house.

I've known for years I have a bad knee and its always just been that, "oh I have a bad knee" or "my knee is playing up" , I've had multiple surgeries with the first being when I was in my early 20's and any doctor or orthopaedic surgeon that has looked at x-rays of my knee always tended to whistle or comment that if it wasn't for the fact that my name is on the x-ray they wouldn't have said they belonged to a person my age.

For the last few years I've essentially been pretending my knee was okay, Id get prescriptions from GP for pain meds or Naproxen when it got too much, went to physio and just struggled along, Id laugh off the slips and trips and falls from my knee giving in, Id ignore the falls in the shower, the struggling to get up after sitting too long , pretend I cant hear the loud crunching and clicking noise my knee makes (Though my wife often comments on it) , the constant pain, the swelling and the heat that radiates off my knee at night where all things I ignored or pretended where okay. My knee has been waking me up at night, makes it hard to fall asleep and the newest annoyance is searing pain every couple of steps that forces me to have to try and grab something to not fall over.

In January my father-law made me go and see his orthopaedic surgeon who did both his knee replacements when we where visiting them in South Africa and he did loads of x-rays in different positions. Being told " Your knee is so bad if you were older we would be discussing a knee replacement" was not a pleasant experience and I think the eye opener that I should maybe get my knee looked at and it was the first time its been confirmed that I have bad osteoarthritis, joint space narrowing, fluid on the knee, bone thinning, spurs and soft tissue swelling in right knee. Luckily left knee isn't as bad

So saw GP who referred me to Ortho, I had one appointment with a consultant at a private hospital who dealt with NHS patients yet they have referred me back to the main hospital to see I am eligible for an osteotomy yet need a full leg x-ray and an MRI, spoke to one of the consultants who said would get me in for an appointment yet due to covid it wont be for a couple of months.

Spoke to GP today as feeling worn down from the pain and she is giving me pain meds and some cream so hopefully those help.

Dunno how to exercise and work on weight lose being at home, I miss the pool at the gym.

I know Im not the only person in thier 30's with osteoarthritis yet when all the literature you can find refers to people in their 50's, 60's and 70's if leaves one feeling a tad isolated


  • ajolly
    ajolly Member Posts: 59

    Hi @Crazymonkey,

    Welcome to the forum. I’m glad you have reached out to us. Plenty of our members come here just like yourself, not because they have a specific question but rather, are looking for somewhere to share what they are going through and get some support from those who can relate.

    I’m sorry so here you are in so much pain. Living with chronic pain can be a lonely and isolating experience at the best of times, let alone during the current climate with COVID-19.  

    You mentioned that you are finding it hard to exercise currently so I have provided a link below with some exercises for knee pain. It may not be a substitute for the exercise you are used to at the gym or pool, but it may help provide you with some pain relief.

    As you have discovered, Arthritis can affect people at any age. Fortunately, a lot of work is being done to raise awareness and I do feel the perception is changing. It is great to see you have been in touch with your GP and will see a consultant when appointments become available again (I find that pretending something is not a big deal doesn't tend to be an effective treatment!) In the meantime, please feel free to have a look around and join in any of the forums we have here. If it does feel like things are getting too much you can phone our Helpline on 0800 5200 520, they are open Monday to Friday 9am-8pm.

    Please do check back in and let us know how you are getting on.

    Best wishes,


  • Crazymonkey
    Hi Alice,
    Thank you very much for your reply and for the link, will definitely have a look at it and get started on those exercises.
    I figured while I'm waiting for an appointment I might as well try my hardest to loose weight so I'm in a better position when I eventually do get an appointment.
    Thanks again and will definitely check back in with an update :-)
  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,742

    Hi Crazymonkey, sorry to hear you’ve had such a challenging diagnosis so young, that’s really tough. While I am quite a bit older than you (60), my recent diagnosis and rapid downhill slide came as a huge shock to me too, I’ve always been a fit and healthy fell walker and did some massive foreign treks (eg Himalayas), but now I wince going slowly up the stairs and could barely make it to the shops down the road yesterday. Don’t feel totally isolated by your youth, whatever our age no-one wants to have to adapt an active healthy lifestyle around this wretched condition. I thought I had at least another 15-20 years of hill walking and the odd rock concert ahead of me, but suddenly that’s all stopped.

    Like you, for years I’d just been saying “oh, I’ve just got a dodgy hip / dodgy knee” and laughing it off, but can’t do that any more. I went from thinking I had a soft tissue injury to suddenly being told I need a new hip. The X-ray was horrific. The other hip ain’t great and we haven’t even looked at my knees yet, and they’ve been an issue for much longer than my hips. (My sister had both of hers replaced before she was 60.). So it’s been a lot to take in. Once lockdown is over I doubt I will be able to return to work at this rate - my job requires some degree of agility and stamina.

    As this is new to me too I don’t have any answers re exercise and pain management, but do keep your doctor on your case. Our local hospital is now doing non-Covid procedures, so hopefully your wait won't be too long. Hang on in there, and keep checking in here, there’s lots of useful advice from people who have “been there, done that, got the tee-shirt”. Take care.

  • historynut
    historynut Member Posts: 28
    edited 7. May 2020, 09:18
    Deleted double post apologies
  • historynut
    historynut Member Posts: 28

    Hello Mate,

    First off the only thing i can say is im truly sorry to hear this has happened to you. Second off it does suck when you find out this young I'm 30.

    My story is similar, I spent my youth playing rugby, martial arts, weightlifting & running. I spent 14 years standing on my feet for my jobs, working in building supplies and retail.

    Last year I found out i had OA in my knee, both hips , spondylosis and cervical narrowing. Mine started when i put my back out and couldn't stand upright. It took about 4 months to get diagnosed when it finally came though it was a mixture of relief (they thought i may have MS) and then depression that it was OA. I'm in pain about 80% of the time, have a blue badge and need to walk with a stick. I'm on the usual drugs to help cope.

    My least favorite side effect from OA is the utter fatigue i get, i have never experienced anything like it.

    The worst bit is finding out new limitations and problems; I never thought i would have to worry about getting to a bathroom quick enough because i can't walk properly. I never thought i'd not be able to hold my beer, ir for that matter worry about being out of my house in case my leg fails and i get stuck somewhere. I have had fantastic experiences when people have helped; A lady on a train gave me a sunflower lanyard when i was having a really bad day. My workmates checking in on me, and understanding when i needed to move into the office and change my hours.

    The only advice i can offer is as follows, you have good days and bad days, and you need to take them as they come. I manage to get gentle exercise such as swimming and walking. I've been advised against any impact sports. The hardest thing i had to get used to is that the medication can cause side effects such as weight gain - coupled with not being as mobile i have been fighting to keep of the pounds.

    Im 9 months into this and there are some days i can't walk around my own house, there are some days i can get to the shops without using the bus.

    Take it one day at a time & don't push yourself. Rest and recoup when you need to.

    It sucks getting diagnosed at any age, but i feel at 30 its something i should be able to 'beat', but ive learnt it doesn't work like.

    If you ever have any questions give me as shout.