Diagnosis

Hello, I am 31yrs old, almost 32 and I have had joint pain and stiffness I'd say since my late teens. I have been to a GP various times about these, mkst recently a week ago. The GP felt my knees and my spine, she said that I have wear and tear in my knee, I have inflammation in my knees and she thinks that when my left knee locked in 2014 that I had actually dislocated my patella, I did this just by putting on a sock when I was getting ready for work.

I had blood tests taken before my appointment last week but the results were normal, so she referred me to a physio. The physio assessed me over the phone - because, covid - I had to do various movements that she described over the phone and we discussed relevant medical history. She thinks the issue is postural, muscular and I'm in a physical job (I work in a nursery in a baby room). So she emailed me a link with types of exercise - swimming, walking, etc. If I get new symptoms or things worsen I am to stop and get back in contact with them and they said they will see me in person.

I am currently taking Naproxen 2x a day and a tablet each morning for my stomach because of the naproxen. I get back pain and stiffness, this is mainly my lower back but can be higher up, my knee especially my left one feels like it is bubbling and I currently use a leg pillow when I sleep because otherwise I wake up with hip pain, I can get hip pain when I have been walking for long periods too. The hip pain is recent, only started noticing it in the last year and is mainly the left side.

My mum has osteoarthritis, other than that I am not aware of any other joint conditions within my family.

My question is, do I push for more tests from my GP - I haven't had xrays of my joints or mri's. I am going to exercise more as advised by the physio, I'm planning to go for walks on my days off (Tues, Sat, Sun).

Comments

  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 587

    Hello @ktnl22

    I am very pleased to meet you and welcome you to the Online Community I see your post is directed to our Helpline Team so I will leave them to do one of their excellent replies.

    This is a very difficult time to have a musculoskeletal condition with COVID isn't it? I'm sure you would have benefitted from seeing the Physiotherapist in person and am glad you intend to do what he/she has suggested.

    While you are waiting for the Helplines I am attaching a link to Osteoarthritis (you mention the Dr saying wear and Tear' and that your Mum has it) it does have a section on diagnosis:

    Please do come along and join us on the main forum our members are very supportive.

    Best wishes

    Ellen.

  • Hello ktnl22 and thank you for posting on the helpline forum.

    I am sorry to hear that you have had joint pain and stiffness since your late teens. You go on to say the blood tests you’ve had have come back normal and you have a referral to physio.

    The GP would normally diagnose osteoarthritis in the surgery by doing a physical examination. X-rays generally are not very helpful in diagnosing osteoarthritis, although they can be helpful to show whether there are any calcium deposits in the joint. In rare cases an MRI scan can be helpful to identify other possible bone or joint problems that may be causing your symptoms.

    It’s good to hear that you’ve spoken to a physio, as exercise is an important part of the self-management of osteoarthritis, and walking which you are planning to do is great. Within that you would be looking at pacing yourself and finding that balance between rest and activity.  I’m also glad the physio has said to get in contact if symptoms worsen and they will see you face-face.

    You might like to ask your doctor for a prescription of Capsaicin cream this is a well-tolerated pain reliever if used regularly, particularly beneficial for Osteoarthritis of the knees and hands but can also be used on other joints.  You may find when you first put it on that you get a bit of a burning sensation so be careful not to use it on broken skin or get it near your eyes.

    I have given you some links which I hope will be useful and I can see Ellen has given you a link to our osteoarthritis information.



    There seems to be quite a lot going on and I wonder if it might be helpful for you to give us a ring on our helpline: 0800 5200 520 (weekdays 9am-8pm) here we can take our time to talk things through informally and in confidence.

    Best wishes

    Lynda

    Helpline advisor