Rheumy appointment

Hi all, I had a Rheumy appointment this afternoon and he confirmed that the pains in my hands and feet are due to osteo arthritis, but the X-rays of my shoulders show that I have calcification in the shoulders, does anyone have any thoughts on this? This is all new to me, I asked him if there was anything he could give me for the pain, but because I am on so many meds. for so many ailments he said I should stick to paracetamol as all the drugs available are addictive and have so many side effects. He did say if the pain in my shoulders get worse he could give me an injection. Not too happy about that but, I suppose he is right in a way, I cannot tolerate strong pain meds and because of an hiatus hernia, GERD, asthma I cannot take certain meds either, all this seems to be linked to my Sarcoidosis . Catch 22 situation I think.

He also sent me for more blood tests for bone density and arranging for tests for osteoporosis.

Any help appreciated, I know this site is mostly RA related, but anything would be appreciated.

Jan (titchyj)

PS. Sorry it's a bit long winded!!!!!!

11 Replies

  • Jan, you are not being long-winded. I'm afraid I don't know enough about the issues you've raised to be of any use to you. The only thing that strikes me is that the approach to pain relief could be a bit cleverer, especially if the pain is really bad. If that's the case don't let it rest - get back to them and ask for a re-think or perhaps to be referred to a pain clinic.

    It'll be interesting to see if anyone has any thoughts on the calcification in your shoulders.

    All the best to you,

    Luce x

  • Thank you woolly, he did say that further down the line I may need an operation. Think I'll go for the injections first and see what happens.


  • In the past I've had calcification in one of my shoulders, long before any signs of RA and I'd love to know if there's any connection.

    For me it was very sudden, one Friday evening I couldn't pick my arm up and it hurt a lot. The calcification caused tendinitis, it became extremely painful and my arm was pretty much useless for a while. I did have 2 steroid injections over 2 or 3 months and was extremely grateful - it can be a really horrible pain and worse than anything I've had, even with severe RA in all my joints. I had to sleep sitting up until I had the injection because the pain I had lying down was truly unbearable. I understand you not wanting an injection but there may come a time when it's necessary. It didn't hurt and I couldn't see him doing it, so it wasn't as bad as I'd anticipated.

    It seemed to start after I'd been sailing and using my arm a lot (I often went sailing, so not an unusual activity). It might be nothing to do with that, my younger sister also had it out of the blue (she had a steroid injection early and she got over it quicker than me). The shoulder specialist I saw thought he'd have to operate to sort it out but physiotherapy exercises at the clinic and at home were fantastic and I got function back without surgery.

    It was 8 years before I had a swelling in my foot which led to the RA diagnosis.

    So, if it gets really painful you may be happy to have the injection, and if they offer you physiotherapy I'd say it's well worth the effort. And the strong painkillers didn't do much for me, so you're not really missing out there.

    I hope that helps, and I really hope your shoulder problems resolve quickly.

  • Hi Sailaway, thanks for you help with this, I was not too happy about not being able to have anything other than an injection for the pain, I have had n injection in my knee in January and it wasn't too bad, so not worried about having one in my shoulders.

    He did say that I would probably go on to have RA in the future, so not too sure if the calcification causes RA or attributes to it. I my also need to have an operation if it doesn't get any better. Will ask GP about physio.

    Thanks again


  • Jan - like Luce I'm unable to help because most of my current ailments come from RA meds or related conditions but I wonder if you've tried the Arthritis Care Living with Arthritis forum yet? If not you will find many others with Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis there who might have more first hand experience of both the miseries you are experiencing and the treatments that have worked for them. arthritiscare.org.uk/forums... - hope this link works but if not just go to the AC site. Good luck and I hope others here or there can help you. Tilda x

  • Hi Tilda, thanks for your thoughts and the link, will certainly give it a look. Hope you are as well as can be,as I have read your blogs and notice you are suffering with your RA and meds at the moment. Thanks again for your advice.


  • Jan, I suffer from the same problem and as soon as it starts I,m straight down to my GP. I am an RA prisoner but wont let the shoulders get to me. My advice is to have injections and some relief. The last lot of needles that I had were summer last year and the injections are just starting to were off. Going to GP tomorrow for some more.

  • Hi Glasseye, I will certainly go for the injections for the pain as and when needed.

    Thanks for your comments on this and sorry you suffer too.


  • tichyj, Hi there is it a calcium deposit on your shoulders if so thats where the pain comes from i have had it twice, I received the injection for pain releif and it worked a treat then they decided to dissolve the calcium deposit with another injection this was painfull process but again it worked, check what level of calcium they are talking about and ask if they can do the same.mattcass

  • Hi Mattcass, I assume it is calcium deposit, not quite sure, I was taking adcal calcium and vit d tablets, but he told me to stop them because my blood test showed that I had too much calcium in the blood, could this attribute to my shoulder problem I wonder? He did say he might have to refer me to an orthopaedic surgeon if it gets worse, so will have to wait and see I suppose.

    Thanks for your help in this very much appreciated.


  • Spondyloarthritis can cause bone remodelling and calcification right at the point where tendons join onto bone. Not sure what else causes calcification.

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