"FEET" Worse affected but nobody cares!

Why is it that when we have our DAS score taken feet are never considered, and yet they seem to be the most affected.

I'd like to share my story about my feet.

Within the first few years I was beginning to realize that my feet were taking the brunt of this illness. Unable to even get around the house, hanging onto chairs doors even other people for support, up and down the stairs on my bottom even getting around on my knees sometimes,it really was that bad. But the hardest part of all was not being able to push my son around in his pushchair this I never experienced.

One day I had a combined appointment with a orthopedic surgeon and my rheumy to see what could be done to help. A big fat NOTHING! something I will have to put up with, too young for replacements and evasive surgery, even though after having an MRI scan it was revealed that the bones in my feet resembled the age of a 73yr old. But never mind I could have a wheelchair to help me!

I was devastated I was 33, if the the RA had done this much damage to my feet what would it do to the rest of my body, I couldn't even begin to think about it. What did the future hold for me, with an attitude like that from a surgeon I had no hope.

I decided to go back to my GP to get a second opinion, she referred me to a foot and ankle surgeon in Wrexham.

The appointment came and after a long consultation was told I could have surgery it would be a long operation with me spending 2wks in hospital on bed rest and then 12wks in plaster from my ankle to my knee! both of them!

The other problem was that the hospital was a 2hr car journey away, it would mean not seeing much of my family but after a long chat decided I didn't have much choice but the thought of leaving my 3yr old son was heartbreaking.

I got through the surgery and managed to get a few visits from my family, it was the longest 2wks of my life. the next 12wks were spent in plaster but I did manage to get around I had to keep telling myself it would all be worth it.

The next 12mths I spent going back and forth to Wrexham hospital for checks, but it was all worth it.

5yrs later i went through it all again, this time though I had to have bone grafts so they took bone from both my shins to put in my feet.Also some of the metal had to be replaced, a screw had broken and some staples were loose.

Don't regret any of it, amazing what they can do these days. just this year I had some more surgery on my right foot. This time though my podiatrist referred me to a foot and ankle surgeon at my local hospital.

Only had to have a small amount of bone shaved away this time so that was ok.

So here I am now with pins,staples and screws holding my feet together! but you know what I don't regret any of it, I can now at least get around sometimes with sticks sometimes not, good days bad days you know what I mean.

mand xx

4 Replies

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  • oh mand, I KNOW what tyou mean my knees ankles and feet all kill, i have been known ot walk around at work in bare socked feet when they are very bad, but not very and safet lol, I am trying to decide wether your op was succesful I hope so# alison x

  • Hi Alison, yes I would say that the op(s)was a success overall. Still get problems but I dread to think about the situation I would be in if I hadn't had the surgery done.

    mand xx

  • I sympathise having been down the foot surgery route myself. It is not a pleasant one but at times a very necessary one. I wrote a blog about feet last month, you will see similarities! In my opinion feet are not given enough emphasis in the early stages The very delicate bones can be easily damaged by RA and the sub structure of the foot can quickly become undermined by spreading disease. Most people with RA will have some degree of disease in their feet. This is one of the reasons why feet are not taking into consideration in the DAS28. I have written a reply somewhere on here about DAS and why it is done in the way it is.

    People often forget the importance of adequate supporting footwear. This can protect the feet from long term damage. Bin the high heels, they will lead to unnecessary strain on the metatarsals. Always choose footwear with good arch support that will give a better podiatric position for the long bones of the feet. Sorry wittering now ... take care of them, you only get one pair of feet!

    Lyn x

  • Your absolutely right Lyn, I'm glad to say I have a brilliant podiatrist and don't even own a pair of heels!

    just the thought of putting my feet in them, ahhh!

    I will take a look at you blog on feet though and about the DAS score.

    Thanks

    mand xx

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