New Diagnosis - What to expect

Hi I have just joined the forum after recently being diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in the feet/ankles, hips, sacroiliac joints and hands. Had pains for years but failed to get face to face with NHS GP and best they ever gave me was a blood test and message from receptionist to say "it isn't rheumatoid".

Just seen a private consultant who did examine me and ordered up MRI and x-rays for this diagnosis. I was given 28 days of etoricoxib (90mg) to be getting on with. Not seen any feedback to my GP so having to chase that.

What I am not clear on is after 28 days on the NSAID is that my lot? Or would I need to chase GP for further supplies?

I think they have helped a little but not pain free and hobbling around with stiff ankles and pains radiating from the hips and sacro. Is that is for me or should I expect more from the drugs?


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 978

    Hi @tonyjdbrown Welcome to the Online Community.

    I understand from your post that you have been diagnosed privately by a consultant who has diagnosed you with Osteoarthritis in several joints. You do indeed need to chase the letter to your GP from the consultant as that will maybe recommend that the etoricoxib is prescribed for you.

    Etoricoxib (also known as Arcoxia - slightly easier to pronounce!) is a Non steroidal Anti inflammatory drug. Take a look at this it will explain how they work:

    They can take a little while to build up their effectiveness.

    I would also like to attach this link which has been written especially for people newly diagnosed:

    Now you have introduced yourself please do join in wherever you feel comfortable.

    Best wishes


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 27,474

    I take Arcoxia too @tonyjdbrown

    I take it for periods of time and usually find it most effective by about day 3/4 as soon as the pain eases off I try to cut back on them because I don't think they are great for our stomachs linings taken for too long.

    No actual painkillers were suggested then? What have you tried? If you haven't tried anything l would speak to your pharmacist and see what they suggest. Most of us take NSAIDs and a painkiller too - can be as simple as paracetamol of course if they help you. There is some evidence about a cream capsaicin I think which is prescription only which is supposed to really help some people with OA.

    Did the consultant say whether your joints would benefit from surgery at all or how bad they were?

    Sorry more questions than answers from me!

    take care anyway

    Toni x

  • @frogmorton At the moment surgery is not being mentioned.

    I have been having pain and stiffness in the hands since before the pandemic but could not get any joy from my local GP so were left until my new job offered BUPA and I could go private. I used to cycle a lot but haven't been on a bike since October 2021 when I found that my feet and ankles hurt really badly and I limped away from the bike. I would hope that I could get back to that sometime but my days of 100 milers are probably behind me.

    Before being prescribed NSAIDs I had tried usual over the counter pain killers but they didn't help. I have once taken paracetamol with Arcoxia.

    I am 14 days into my 28 day supply of Arcoxia and not feeling I should cut back yet. I think they are helping but still get a lot of pain from the hips and sacroiliac joints radiating through groin etc. Also get that loss of power in legs which will be another pain if I get back on a bike.

    So from what you are saying I will need to get my GP to repeat my prescription so I can use them on a "need to use" basis in the future?

  • alexander1
    alexander1 Member Posts: 63

    I have been on tramadol for about 4-5 years now and sounds like you have lots of scope if required. I would ask for these or codeine and take when you need

    the other option is a short dose of diazipam but that can be a knock out drug

    once you have the MRI and tests they should be able to better prescribe your meds to suit your needs.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 27,474

    Hi @tonyjdbrown

    Yes exactly you need your GP to prescribe them and in fact i would try to get a face to face with your GP now so you don't run out. You are 14 days in and not much improvement? Did it help when you added paracetamol in? Have you tried anything else? In my early days I bought over the counter paracetamol and codeine (it's low dose codeine) which helped a bit.

    Keep posting Tony You will get there. You need to see that report at the GPs so you know what they have advised ASAP.

    Take care

    Toni x

  • @frogmorton 14 days in and some improvement. In fact today I feel that the worst fingers on my hands are moving a bit more. So this is building as you all say.

    But still no sign of the letter from the consultant back to my GP so will continue to chase; especially as it takes so long to get a face to face with my local GP.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,703

    Hi Tony,

    I've read through your thread and I do think you need to sort out with your practice for more NSAIDS (such as arcoxia) to be on repeat prescription.

    Now that it's been determined that you have OA and not an inflammatory form of arthritis, I doubt you'll get to see another consultant as usually GPs deal with OA (I have OA and RA) until/unless an operation is needed and then it's an orthopaedic surgeon we're referred to not a rheumatologist.

    I hope the NSAIDS will help and you may want to ask for a referral for physio. One thing I'd caution against is aiming for 'pain free'. Not only is it unrealistic but I think it can be counterproductive as we just end up on more and more, stronger and stronger pain relieving meds which we come to tolerate so we end up in a vicious circle.

    For me, the less I think about pain the better. That's not easy when it's all relatively new but distraction is a great weapon.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 27,474

    Morning @tonyjdbrown

    Keep trying for that appointment with your GP even if it is in 2 weeks time sometimes it's easier to get on ahead than on the day.

    I'm very pleased to hear your hands are a bit more comfortable now that is good news.

    @stickywicket is right really about being totally pain free I do wish it was like it used to be when I took a paracetamol for a headache and that was it gone! Sadly that isn't the case for many of us we live with a certain degree of pain. In my case ignorable mostly.

    Yesterday l started back on my own Arcoxia after some time off of it due to something 'new' hip/knee because it proving a challenge to sleep. All being well it will ease I suspect some OA so might add in a couple of other things I have up my sleeve like my wheatbag - the kind you head up in the microwave I have probably mentioned it before.

    Take care Tony you will get there perseverance is key.

    Toni x

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