My name is littleladymai (It's not my real name :-p) , I'm 23 years old and this is my story so far...
It all started about 5/6 years ago, I made numerous visits to my GP complaining of knee pain. I always felt that the Dr's didn't really believe me, I was sent away with painkillers and a referral to physiotherapy. Eventually the Dr's ordered some X-rays after I began complaining of hand and neck pain too. The X-rays didn't show anything so yet again my symptoms were dismissed. The physiotherapy wasn't helping, in fact it was making the pain worse, so on visiting my Dr again I eventually got a referral to a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist wasn't interested in looking at my hands or neck for some reason and only concentrated on my knees. He ordered an MRI of my right knee. The MRI showed severe wear and tear behind the knee cap and inflammation but my actual knee joint itself appears fine. I was told it was osteoarthritis rather than rheumatoid caused by a mechanical problem. My rheumatoid factor test came back slightly raised (but apparently not enough for them to be concerned about). I was advised to seek the opinion of an orthopaedic surgeon if my knee problems get worse.... So that was that.
I was left wondering why on earth I have arthritis in my knee, and wanted this question answering before I considered knee surgery! After all, I'm only 23 and don't have any family history of arthritis. Why on earth do I have arthritis at my age I wondered to myself. I returned to my GP who then referred me to a musculoskeletal specialist. The specialist examined my knees, hands and neck. On examining my hands I was told I have the beginnings of Bouchards nodes on most of my fingers and along with the other symptoms such as pain and stiffness he told me my symptoms are consistent with inflammatory arthritis....
He examined my neck but couldn't see anything obvious. He did notice tender points consistent with fibromyalgia. He said its likely I have inflammation in my neck and fibromyalgia, causing me to get headaches every day (my GP told me it was tension headaches).
I have made yet another appointment to see my GP on Thursday of this week, where I hope to get some answers. Although I'm not very hopeful!
Rheumatology told me it wasn't rheumatoid arthritis, the musculoskeletal specialist told me it's inflammatory arthritis. Am I understanding correctly that inflammatory arthritis is just another term for RA?
I just want to find out what's going on and I feel confused when I'm getting conflicting information from different professionals.
My symptoms are getting increasingly worse, I'm struggling to do everyday activities such as write and walk my dogs because of the pain.
I've come here to share my experiences, get advice and just meet people who understand!