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Knee dilemma

Good morning

I hope you are keeping as well as you can and aren't suffering too much.

I have found myself in a bit of a dilemma, I have been battling with my knee for a couple of years but it has become really bad in the last year. I had an appointment with my Rheumatologist on Friday who has said that I need surgery for my knee and potentially my elbows as the damage is irreparable and will be what is causing my sevear pain. I'm scared about this as I'm only 28 and feel like I've had to sacrifice a lot in the 12 years I have had RA.

At the moment just walking round my house is difficult. I have damaged cartilage which keeps catching and causes my knee to 'pop' inside which is agony. I have been working as usual but I'm at the point where I don't think I can get trough the day but I'm reluctant to take sick leave. I've never signed out of work before even when I maybe should have. My stubborn determination won't let the RA win but recently I've been getting home and crying with pain. I've been sick with infections all over Xmas and NY and think I have an eye infection now. I'm exhausted!

I'm constantly concerned about people thinking I'm lazy or not going above and beyond for my job. The problem is that I work in a very physically demanding environment. I think I have to change my job soon but in the meantime I'm out of energy.

Apologies for the moan.

4 Replies


Sorry to hear about your struggles. You're right in that it is exhausting being in constant pain.

I had total knee replacements in both legs ( done at the same time!) last year and I haven't looked back.

I am a social worker and had to have a good couple of months sick leave and I found everyone to be very supportive and understanding. I would say to you to take the time off work if needed as you run the risk of doing more damage to your knee etc - you need to take care of you, regardless of what anyone else may think?

Be mind to yourself and the very best of luck with everything.


I think that we all try to carry on for too long. It certainly sounds as if you need time off sick in order to build up your strength again. Why don't you discuss this with your GP? They will have lots of experience with people both trying to hold down a job and those who don't want to. I think you might be surprised how supportive they can be (but I know, not all of them).


Firstly no apology necessary on this forum, all of us understsnd snd we are here to help each other. You are very young to be facing the surgery dilemma and they also tend to be very reluctant to resort to surgery with someone your age unless absolutely necessary partly because of the life expectancy of prosthetic joints however you seem to have reached the point that not having surgery will only cause your situation to get worse leading to more time off and less mobility which then becomes a downhill helter skelter and if you have ever tried to climb one of those in reverse you will know its impossible. From where you are it seems to me that you can either face a downhill curve or have the surgery and an uphill curve of recovery and improvement. On that basis i know which i would definately choose and i really think it is something you need to come to terms with that you have a bullet to bite. Im sorry if this reply serms blunt but im being as straight and honest as i can.

Can i also add that i was the most determined, bolshy, dogmatic and fierce deniers that you could ever meet. When i found out i had RA i was determined that like with the onset of type 2 diabetes i would take it head on and smash it out of the ball park for even daring to touch my life and threaten me. Oh boy did i have a lesson to learn, i ripped myself to bits fighting RA like that and it was the biggest mistake i have ever made. I took on the disease and had a be damned if your going to get the better of me attitude so when a joint kicked off because i had over done it i tried to push through it and go harder to work my way past it. You cannot do that with RA. Whilst a positive attitude is obviously a good thing and maintaining the best level of mobility is vital trying to smash your way through it and force against it is definately NOT. Rest can be far more productive than pushing too hard.

I really wish you well with your journey and hope you will keep usvall informed of your devision and your progress.

One further thought, remember that at this moment you have a choice, somehow in life we enjoy the positives more and cope with the negatives with more zest when we feel we have made a choice and we get on with it. You may be putting yourself in a position where a littlecway down the road you have no real choice. For me it would be better to take control and ownership while i can, from what you have said about yourself and your determination to keep working ivwould say the same may be true of you. Only you know the answer to that question.




Thanks Leon. I hear what you're saying and you have me dead to rights. I have been completely resistant to accepting RA as a part of my life...It just can't be. Right?!... if a joint hurts I push it, if it swells I feel I need to teach it a lesson in obedience. I've just sent my sick note into my manager with an email full of apologies. To take time out like this feels like a new low for me. Not sure how to change the way I think about all of this but I have to.


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