WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?

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alison59
alison59 Member Posts: 10
Hi, I'm new here and in need of some advice? I'll try to keep this as short as possible! I was diagnosed with arthritis about 2 years ago - by 'diagnosed' I mean that my GP looked at my reddened, knobbly finger joints and agreed that I had typical symptoms. I was sent away with a prescription for paracetamol and ibuprofen and that was that. I returned to my GP about a year ago with pain and stiffness in my right knee - he informed me it was probably just arthritis and told me to carry on with the same pain relief. I accepted that because the pain in my knee would disappear from time to time however, for the last couple of months the pain has been almost constant. It's not unbearable, I can quite easily live with it. I'm more concerned now about the constant cracking and grinding noises which the joint makes every time I bend it. I also now suffer with 'weakness' in the joint - I feel like my leg might actually give way at times. I've decided I need to return to my GP but I'm not quite sure what I should be expecting him to do. Do I simply go on accepting the 'take painkillers and live with it' answer or should something else be done? I'd be grateful for any advice - I'll only be 50 this year and I'm increasingly worried about how this is going to affect me in the future as it seems to have come about at a relatively early age.

Comments

  • bertyboy
    bertyboy Member Posts: 1,860
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    please go back to your dr your knees are inportant to the rest of your body , i know what you mean about the creacking and grinding , and the constant pain , you need more investigation , you do not just have to live with it , if that is what you are told see a different dr , i hope they help x
    I know i am a lady ,all life is a journey xx MAY xx
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Alison

    The diagnosis by your gp of arthritis is not enough. You need to know what type of arthritis you have. You require a blood test to see if you have rheumatoid arthritis and xrays of your hands and knee.

    You may need to be referred to a rheumatologist if there is a possibility you have RA or another type of arthritis.

    Osteo arthritis is wear and tear and physio may help.

    Please do not allow your gp to send you away again with no further investigation. Unfortunately we do sometimes have to fight for help and diagnosis especially if the gp is not too knowledgeable about arthritis.

    Good luck!

    Elna
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • alison59
    alison59 Member Posts: 10
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks bertyboy and elnafinn for your replies. I know my arthritis needs some further investigation - haven't really found that my GP's been particularly interested to be honest. I'll definately go back, maybe try to see a different doc, and stamp my feet a wee bit!

    Thanks for your wishes, it's cheered me up already

    Alison x
  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 8,681
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Alison
    I wouldn't be too happy with any doctor who said it was "just arthritis". That shows a lack of understanding of how much it hurts. I would try to see a different doctor. I have arthritic knees, so I know how you feel. You need to get X-rays, and to see a consultant. There are various things they can do to ease your pain; different drugs, steroid injections, or arthroscopy (key-hole surgery)if necessary. I had this, and it has improved my mobility.The first consultant I saw didn't want to do anything, but eventually I asked for a second opinion, and the second one said immediately that I needed surgery.
    Joan
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  • alison59
    alison59 Member Posts: 10
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks for your reply Joan

    I seldom go to my GP and just 'put up' with things, but this knee thing in particular is getting me down a bit. Maybe I just need to start complaining a bit more! Anyway, I've no intention of simply lying down to this - there's plenty life in this old dog yet :lol:

    Alison
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,578
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Dear Alison,

    I'm sorry there's been a delay to replying to your message personally from Helplines, but we had a big technical problem with the phones and then a huge backlog of calls.

    I'm relieved that you've had such good support from people here on the forum in the meantime.

    We've got good information on self-management and arthritis which you would probably find useful - it can give you a structure to working through different self-management approaches.

    If the GP's suspicion that the problem is osteoarthritis is bourne out, then the core recommendations are about strengthening exercise and weight loss (if necessary). A physiotherapist and a regular exercise class are the kinds of steps which are often very supportive.

    If you'd like an information pack then e-mail your name and address to helplines@arthritiscare.org.uk (do mention that you've spoken with us on the forum about your knee pain).

    I hope that helps

    Guy
  • alison59
    alison59 Member Posts: 10
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Many thanks Guy - I've done as you suggested re the information pack, I really do need to get myself better informed about arthritis - knowledge is power!

    Can I just add that although I only joined the forum last night my spirits are already lifted. I'm ashamed to admit that I was beginning to feel quite sorry for myself - what a difference a day makes!

    Thanks to everyone - you haven't half made me feel better :lol:
  • alison67
    alison67 Member Posts: 70
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Alison,

    please go back to your g.p and strongly request for a refferral to a rheumatologist!
    You shouldn't have to put up with the pain along with the weakness in your knee and fingers.
    I have psoriatic arthritis and my right knee always 'gives way' on me, but i am on drugs to stop the progression of the disease, and it sounds like youi need something more than paracetamol and ibuprofen.
    If you have no luck from your g.p then please see another, as i was told that deformities caused by arthritis tend to happen early on if the correct measures aren't taken. This happened to me as i tried to 'cure' my arthritis naturally, and now my hands are really deformed. I don't mean to scare you at all but please don't just 'make do'. It sounds like, with the right care, you will be fine. Take care.x
  • alison59
    alison59 Member Posts: 10
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Alison, and thanks for your reply.

    Having read a bit about other folks experiences I'm a bit dumbstruck, to say the least, at the attitude my GP's taken! I was diagnosed with Raynaud's disease at the same time as the OE but never offered any kind of treatment (I wasn't even aware that there could be a connection with arthritis?) Anyway, I've an appointment with my GP tomorrow and I'll admit to feeling a bit nervous but I've got to bite the bullet and get something a bit more positive done! This site has been great - lots of support and advice. I've also had an information pack sent and feel like I'm a lot more clued up than I was even a few weeks ago.
    Thanks again for your support

    Alison :lol: