Never seen a consultant

My GP says "youre riddled with arthritis" every time I go about paine...yet I have never been referred...other than when Ive needed surgery on meniscus tears,(3times now)...& for shoe supports when I tore a ligament in my foot. Should I be under an arthritis consultant?

Thanks for your help


  • Hi Polyanna,

    Thank you for posting on the Helpline forum. I am sorry to hear you have widespread arthritis and you have needed surgery in the past for ligament tears. It sounds as if you probably have osteoarthritis (OA) which can be confirmed on X-ray and is usually managed by your GP, especially in its early stages. If you are unsure which type of arthritis you have, you could clarify this with your GP. Past injuries and surgery can make you more susceptible to developing OA.

    When X-rays show that osteoarthritis (OA) has progressed, referral to an orthopaedic specialist is usually considered, especially if you are in a lot of pain and your mobility is affected. There are also other types of arthritis which are auto-immune inflammatory conditions. These types of arthritis are very different to OA and in these cases, you would usually be referred to a rheumatology consultant who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of these different types of arthritis.

    It sounds as if it may help to talk things through further with your GP who can review your pain relief medication and refer you to an orthopaedic specialist when the time is right. Referral to a physiotherapist may be worth considering for an assessment and advice about exercises. In some areas the referral is to the musculoskeletal service (MSK). The right kind of exercise, a little and often, a healthy balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight can all make a difference to how you feel.

    If at any point you would like to talk things through informally and in confidence about your arthritis, you are welcome to call our Free Helpline on 0800 520 0520 weekdays 9am – 6pm.

    I hope you find the information given below of some help. 

    Best wishes,

    Fiona, Helpline Advisor