Osteoarthritis pain

Revned Member Posts: 3
edited 16. Nov 2019, 05:24 in Say Hello
Hello people [emoji846]
I suffer with osteoarthritis of my knee.
I underwent surgery in 1985, and 2004.
In 2004 I underwent an ACL reconstruction that failed miserably, I ended up with cellulitis and osteomyelitis.
Ever since I have been taking naproxen and codine.
Last year my consultant offered to perform a knee replacement and after giving it some thought I decided against this.
I am unfortunately prone to infection after surgery.
The last six months or so have been almost unbearable with pain, my medication no longer has the effect ot once did. Driving has become so difficult and walking has now become painful with every step. Steps and stairs rend me breathless. When I have been still moving again is so painful.
I still work part time, although now it has become so difficult. I love my job. I'm only a steward at a social club. It's not physical work at all but it brings me in contact with people of whom a lot have now become friends. I don't know how much longer I can continue to do this though.
Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Sent from my WAS-LX1A using Tapatalk


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Revned

    Welcome to our Versus Arthritis forums.

    As I understand it the Anterior Cruciate Ligament surgery you had is dealing with 'tissue', as in not bone. Now it seems your bone has joined in, possibly because of the damage to your soft tissue. If that’s so, then a total knee replacement will at least mean you won’t have the bone on bone pain any more. It also means there’s a big opening for your surgeon to see just what’s going on with your ligaments etc and make the best of what you have.

    I’ve had a TKR and also have tendinitis and soft tissue issues. My knee was almost immediately better than before. It’s stronger, mind I was very motivated to do my exercises before the op and still do them nearly 2 years after, I shall always do them to keep as much mobility as I can. So - it was the best thing I could have done, my quality of life is hugely better, and I’ve kept really good range of movement, I can cycle again. I’m not pain free but I can manage the pain much better, mentally I’m not sort of dragged down by it if you see what I mean.

    But, I’m me, so collect all the evidence you can, talk to your health team, find out how to help yourself initially, I lost weight, exercised and had a good diet. You sound like you will find motivation not much of a problem, and make your decision.

    To start here's our information on knee replacement


    Take care
    Yvonne x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you but I am sorry you have had to find us. I can't help as I have OA in multiple joints as a result of my first arthritis, psoriatic: that began back in 1997 in one knee and I can just about remember the impact on life it made. By 2003 the other knee joined in which at least balanced the pain, OA was diagnosed in 2011 and now the blasted stuff is everywhere.

    I have seen the difference a new joint can make to the quality of people's lives and although it is not an easy option (and the recovery is hard work) I cannot help but envy their very pain-reduced or pain free living, their better mobility, their getting on with doing things I used to do. As I see it they were lucky as their arthritis was OA and confined to one joint. I am a veteran of seven operations over my life time and have never had any trouble with post-op infections but I have had one or two surgery-related issues, things that happened with one operation have not happened on another, TBH it never occurred to me they would. I was refused new knees when I was 52 deapite the Xrays showing I was bone-on-bone so, eight years on, things are unsurprisingly worse in my ankles and hips meaning having them done now will not yield much benefit. I also have the psoriatic in my toes so it's a lose-lose :lol:

    Surgery is daunting but the rewards can be well worth the effort it requires. The meds do very little and certainly won't stop the deterioration in the joint. Once one joint is affected others are thrown out of kilter as we unconciously alter the way we move and stand to reduce the pain thus stressing other joints. Do you use any walking aids to reduce this impact on your other leg joints? DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,420
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Revned and welcome from me too. I've given your post much thought because I'm very familiar with surgery, replacement joints and, now, being in a situation where my surgeon feels another op would be too dangerous unless absolutely essential.

    Both cellulitis and osteomyelitis are serious conditions but, as far as I know, neither precludes surgery. I've had cellulitis two or three times but not after any surgery. And I believe sometimes surgery is perfomed precisely because of osteomyelitis. So I guess, in themselves, they would not preclude a new knee.

    You say you're 'prone to infection after surgery'. Is there some reason for this? Are you diabetic? Do you smoke? I'm sure there are other factors which could contribute to post-op infections some of which might be avoidable and others not.

    What is interesting, though, is that your surgeon is willing to operate. Surgeons don't usually like to take risks (if only because it messes up their success rates :wink: ) so maybe your surgeon feels it is less of a risk that you do. Perhaps, now forewarned by your previous problems, he feels steps could be taken to lessen any risks.

    Perhaps if you had a good talk with him you could voice your fears and see how he feels any risks could be at best prevented or at least lowered. If you don't have an appointment coming up soon, try your GP who will obviously know less but will at least have the surgeon's report from your last visit. I'd take with me a list of questions not least of which would be (i)How I could personally lessen the risk and (ii)How the surgeon might.

    I do understand that one bad outcome from surgery will inevitably cloud your view and eat into your optimism but maybe you were just unlucky before.
  • Jackie47
    Jackie47 Member Posts: 108
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi. Sorry you are having to deal with this. Although I haven’t had a knee replacement I do know what pain is . I am having a hip replacement in the Spring. The other hip was done 4 years ago. Although text book it left me with soft tissue problems. This hasn’t put me off having the other hip done as the arthritis is so painful I would rather take the risk. Naproxen doesn’t work for me neither. Knee,hip whatever if it’s so painful it gotta be replaced in my mind. If a surgeon recommends it......
  • YogaJones
    YogaJones Member Posts: 18
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Revned

    I’ve not had a TKR but I do have OA in the knee and have similar surgery on it to yourself. If your unsure about have the replacement maybe it’s worth seeing if you can get some functional rehab with your local physio service. I had this and was skeptical at first but I had helped to improve the pain. The idea of it is to build different muscle groups to support the joint.

    Hope you find what you need here.

  • JoeB
    JoeB Bots Posts: 83
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You did not mention when you were last reviewed by anyone but it may be worth arranging a review (even of the GP variety) as soon as possible and discussing pain management options. Over time drug regimens can become less effacacious, particularly opiods such as Codeine.

    Whilst awaiting an appointment with the GP / Consultant - some patients find acupuncture a useful adjunctive therapy.

    There are two main associations of which I am aware (in no particular order)

    The British Medical Acupuncture Society

    The Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (& Acupuncture)

    You pays your money - you takes your choice.

    It is occasionally available on the NHS although availability varies between areas / CCG's. I mention it as some GP's | Physios have trained in 'medical acupunture' and it is possible there is one near to you.

    If you are based in or near London then The University of Westminster have a Polyclinic that is open to the public (by appointment) where patients can receive acupuncture at a significantly reduced fee from supervised final year students.

    It may also be worth discussing supplements such as Glucosamine and Turmeric (among others) although many GP's have limited if any experience (or interest) in their use.

  • Jackie47
    Jackie47 Member Posts: 108
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yes I’ve had acupuncture on the NHS. Great believer in it and it’s helped immensely .
  • Revned
    Revned Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks everyone for your understanding and informative replies.
    The Osteoarthritis started very early for myself, the first operation in 85 was a total meniscectomy in my knee no keyhole surgery back then, it was also the time when my ACL was destroyed, although this wasn't known until an MRI scan in 2003. I was always very active but my knee would give way more and more regularly as the years passed. On my visits to A&E with pain and swelling the diagnosis was always it's a bursa.
    Needless to say the years of wear and tear had taken a toll by the time I managed to get referred to a consultant.
    I do not suffer with diabetes, my body just rejects foreign bodies, stitches, screws, and silicone hence the infection problems.
    I guess I'm going to hold out for as long as I possibly can before undergoing any further surgery. I have a few pounds to lose that will undoubtedly help my plight and I shall see my GP about getting referred to physio. I just need to get on top of the pain somehow it is just constant at the moment.
    Once again thank you all.
    It's great to be able to be in contact with people who understand.

    Sent from my WAS-LX1A using Tapatalk
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,420
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Pain is a big disincentive to not do the things we need to do to reduce the pain :roll: Such is arthritic life!

    I hope you can manage to do stuff that will help. I'd also, if it were me, want to ask the docs about this business of the body rejecting even stitches etc. I've never heard of it before. Is it a medical phenomenon or have you just been unlucky and, if so, could measures be taken to prevent it happening again?

    Whatever you do or don't do I wish you success.