Recent worsening of pain and reduction of movement

jarvo77 Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:08 in Living with arthritis

Hi, I'm Andy J, I'm 68 and joined the group after hearing a radio advert. I was diagnosed with arthritis in my left hip joint two and a half years ago. I have been taking Naproxen since then, with prescribed exercises, which made the condition manageable until recently.

Movement has become much more limited, so that "simple" tasks such as tying a shoelace are extremely difficult as I now live on my own. My doctor is reluctant to recommend hip replacement, even though I have not had a recent x-ray. With the current delays in NHS surgery, I fear facing years of pain and inability to do simple tasks.

I would be interested to hear from anyone else in a similar position or who can offer advice.


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,679

    Hi Andy (@jarvo77 ) Welcome to the Online Community you heard our advert😊

    I see from your post that you were diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in your left hip some 2.5 years ago, but recently your pain and mobility have really worsened. You seem to have managed well with the exercises and naproxen you were prescribed until now, but your GP is reluctant to refer you for surgery.

    Sometimes we have to be more assertive than we want to be; a lot can change in 2.5 years. Our members usually advise making a clear short list of what is happening to discuss with their GP and requesting what they want to happen next. I wonder whether you were thinking an up to date X-ray might be helpful?

    Anyway while you are waiting for one of our members to come along I have sorted out a couple of links which might just help a little:

    Best wishes


  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,743
    edited 30. Mar 2022, 16:48

    Hi @jarvo77 , sorry to hear you're in so much pain. Does your GP give a reason why he won't recommend you for surgery? You're certainly not too young. My hip was slowly grinding itself away for years without me realising until I had a fall and all hell broke loose. The pain went through the roof within a few weeks and never relented until I had replacement over a year later. When my GP finally referred me for xray it was already so bad I was referred straight away for a new hip, without even having been aware I had arthritis up till then. She had declined xrays before then as she said "there isn't anything we'd do about "a bit of arthritis anyway". 🙄

    Eventually I ended up plundering savings and going privately for hip replacement as I was told, after 12 months of agony, that it would be another 18 month wait and I simply couldn't go on by that stage. I was 61 and very active at he time, but It took me an hour to do one mile round the village, leaning heavily on a stick and on handfuls of prescription pain killers.

    Speaking to two orthopedic surgeons and other patients, it's not uncommon for the pain to suddenly ramp up like this. My surgeon recently compared my first xray in March 2020 to the xray just before surgery in April 2021, and the degree of further wear in that time was shocking, as there was no cartilage left in March 2020 so it just kept grinding down bone on bone. So in your position I would definitely push for another xray, as I don't know how a GP can say "you don't need a new hip" without seeing the evidence. You also need to make clear the effect it's having on your life.

    I'm afraid there's a limit to what pain relief can achieve, most of us will say it only knocks the edge off it, but the link on Managing your Pain may give you some useful tips. Also ask your GP to review your pain meds, and possibly ask for a referral to a pain clinic, particularly if there is a long wait in your area for replacement. But the sooner you can get on the list (if that's what's needed), the better. If your GP is still unwilling to refer you to an MSK consultant (musculo-skeletal) or rheumatologist, ask for a second opinion from your practice.

    Sometimes we do need to self-advocate, I've found gentle persistence works best. (Getting bolshy has the opposite effect.) If they don't know how bad things have become, and how it's affecting your day to day activities and your mental health, they won't know to do anything about it.

    Good luck - I hope you get some action soon.