Arthritis or something else?

Mid February I started having a pain in my left butt. I am a female, 66 yrs old and very physically active and have been all my life. After about a week (no exercise) the pain started in my left groin area. Iced and ibuprofen were what I used. Occasionally when I would overwork in the yard I would have a hitch in left side, but nothing like this. It then started pulsation from groin to knee, then need to ankle. More like tingling those places versus pain. I then went to the Ortho Dr. that could fit me in and he said I have arthritis of the hip and gave me a cortisone shot in the groin and prescription for Meloxicam and take tylenol for pain. I still am having these symptoms and will probably need to go back to Dr. I just thought it so strange that the onset would develop suddenly for this length of time. I guess I wonder if there could be something else, like something sitting on a a nerve, etc. That is why I am searching for any answers or suggestions. Thank whoever.


  • PeterJ
    PeterJ Moderator Posts: 56

    Hello @Believer81 and welcome to the forum, we are a friendly and supportive group of people.

    I can see that you have pain in your hip which was diagnosed as arthritis in the hip and gave you an injection and Meloxicam and tylenol prescriptions. If you are still having symptoms then it is best you go back to your doctor and try and get more tests done to make sure that the diagnosis is correct. In the meantime our website contains a lot of information which I hope you will find useful. Here are a couple of links to info within it you might find of interest and help.

    Please do keep posting and let us know how you get on and I am sure others will post and share their experiences with you.

    With very best wishes

    Peter (mos)

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 846

    Hello @Believer81 I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis and discomfort.

    If it helps, my story was pretty similar, 61 reasonably healthy, fit and active' but with random pains down one leg. My physio suspected was arthritis but we tried a load of other treatments as well, including sciatica and bursitis, some helped more than others. Then after a minor tumble onto my backside the pain ramped up rapidly over a few weeks to total agony level, X-ray found v severe osteoarthritis and I was put straight onto the list for a new hip.

    i asked my consultant whether it’s common for arthritis to very suddenly surface after lurking like this for many years, and he said it can happen. If I’m honest I remained slightly dubious, but another ortho consultant agreed. After a year’s wait I had my new hip fitted last weekend, and the woman in the next bed to mine had exactly the same story. Minor gripes for a while, then suddenly, wham! “You need a new hip”. I didn’t even know I had arthritis till that shock phone call from my doc!

    I’ve heard others on this forum say that like me (and you) referred pain right down the leg is common, for me it was stabbing pains behind the kneecap, and raw pain all the way down the outside of my leg, and a burning sensation down my shin, very often when I was sitting quite still or lying in bed. That’s as well as a variety of pains in all parts of the hip joint. My pains changed over the year as the hip then deteriorated at a rate of knots, for me the surgery couldn’t come soon enough as it had got to the stage that I could hardly work (I’m self employed), and had given up nearly all my leisure activities. Even without lockdown there was no point going on holiday as all I could manage is a trip round a supermarket.

    I had a steroid injection but sadly it didn’t work for me as I was already bone on bone. If that’s the case with you, you need to tell your surgeon so they can escalate the treatment to replacement. However, if it is working then you can have it done repeatedly, even if it only lasts a few months.

    There a very good link for pain management on this site, which you may find helpful in addition to the ones Peter has suggested. This forum is also really supportive and friendly, they certainly kept me afloat over the last 12 months. If you need a moan, have any questions, or just want a hater, this is the place to come. We all know how rubbish arthritis feels.

  • Hi @Believer81, thank you for sharing and welcome to our online community.

    As Lilymary said, sometimes the symptoms of pain can come on very suddenly, sometimes without much warning. For others it might feel like more of a slow build up of symptoms, but we’re still unsure why the onset of pain seems to affect people so differently. Also, referred pain into areas like the leg, sciatic nerve and groin area can be quite common with osteoarthritis in the hip.

    It is reasonably common for nerves to get pinched which can be quite painful sometimes. Gentle stretches and exercises can be really helpful at easing some pressure if you have any trapped nerves, so you might want to ask your GP to refer you to a physiotherapist who can guide you with the best exercises for your body. There are also some specific painkillers which can help ease nerve pain, but it’s best to have a discussion with your GP about this first.

    As PeterJ mentioned, it’s always a good idea to visit your doctor again if you feel the symptoms aren’t getting any better or if you notice them getting worse. There are also some great links to our pages on ways to manage hip pain, so do take a read of them if you haven’t already done so. I’ve also added a link to our more general guide on tips to manage pain which I hope is helpful.

    Remember you can always call our helpline on 0800 5200 520 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm) if you’d like to chat to one of the team in more detail, and it’s great to see you’ve joined our community here – do feel free to ask any more questions to the group here if you have them.

    My best wishes,

    Jack – Helpline Advisor

  • This is Believer81 again and I would like to thank you for your comments. I have made another appointment with another Ortho Dr. (he was off on 1st appointment) as my concern is all the tingling in lower leg to my heel. Yesterday just had slight pinching on groin and outer hip and tingling. Took prescription & 2 tylenol at lunch and supper. About 7:30 had enormous pain shoot in outside hip and lower leg. Got up and walked around then put heat on it and put leg up and it went back to just tingling so will go to appointment on Thursday morning and go from there. This morning only tingling and slight pinching in outside hip.

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 846

    Hi @Believer81 , i’m glad you’ve got another appointment, I hope it goes well, let us know how you get on,

  • Will do!

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