GP diagnosis OA but won't refer me to a Specialist - NRAS


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GP diagnosis OA but won't refer me to a Specialist


My GP has said I have OA. I have had this in my fingers, wrists and knee for some years. My work Occupational Health advised me to ask my GP for a Rheumatologic referral but he has said he would not refer me to a specialist as I do not have RA. Is this correct. I have never seen a specialist only ever been treated by my GP with painkillers. I'm 61 and not due to retire until I am 66.5. I am worries that my OA will get too bad and I won't be able to type, I am a secretary. Any advice?

7 Replies

Maybe an orthopaedic referral would be appropriate ? Have another chat with your gp as you can ask for a second opinion 🌸

Sioban19 in reply to weathervane

Thank you


I have OA as well as PSA and no one is ever very interested in the OA, because, I think, there isn't much they can do- it's 'wear and tear' and short of surgery nothing much makes it better. However, my rheumy referred me once to a orthopaedic surgeon for my ankles, so perhaps you could ask- insist- on a referral to them. They will assess it and give you options. Also, ask for a referral to physio- they might be able to help you prevent further damage. If it's in your toes etc ask to see a podiatrists. For all the asks, read insist! Good luck x

Yes. Rheumatology don't deal with osteoarthritis. I have both osteo and inflammatory arthritis. I see rheumatology for the inflammatory, and the orthopaedic surgeons for the osteoarthritis. I had a bilateral partial knee replacement when my knees where completely knackered.

If you are in a great deal of pain with knee, ask for a referral to orthopaedics. They can start off by giving a shot of steroid into joint (if appropriate).

I have developed OA in my lower back apart from RA. I was referred by my Rhuemy to a physio, mine is caused by the discs compressing down, I have lost height. I went to a pain seminar and also exercise classes, these have helped, but have to be kept up. It seems in our area you are referred to a physio for any OA problems before they decide if you need to see an Orthopaedic surgeon. Good luck. X

LizzieR in reply to Gigi71

I've lost height too- and am developing a rather attractive (!) hump at the top of my back. I used to be tall...and athletic.... Now I'm shorter and use a mobility scooter. Hey ho:-) x

You won't get a referral to Rheumatology for OA, because it wouldn't make sense. But you GP should refer you to a orthopaedic specialist.I have OA in my lower back and knees and I just insisted again and again to see a specialist until I had success. I am not happy just to put up with the "go away and take pain killers" attitude. I hope you find a way to get good treatment. All the best.

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