Recently diagnosed by the rheumatolog... - Osteoarthritis Ac...

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Recently diagnosed by the rheumatologist as having Osteoarthritis and I know nothing!

ikandee
ikandee

Hello,

Recently attended a routine rheumatologist appointment and he examined me and diagnosed Osteoarthritis of my right hip and knee.

I asked if it was linked to my severe Vitamin D deficiency as it hovers around the 11 mark and he looked amused.

I realise it's wear and tear I think, lol however in my logic I was just being simple.

I do volunteer at my local NHS hospital and it involves a deal of walking when escorting patients and visitors so I'm quite mobile until my right hip gets a bit sore and I adopt a bit of a limp.

I'm told replacement joints will be what I need but they can see if physiotherapy will help.

Could anyone please give me some much needed insight in to this disease please?

Thanks in advance. Denise

8 Replies
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kohai
kohaiOA Ambassador

Hi ikandee,

If you have a read through some of the threads on here, there are many that break OA down into its simplest terms.

Some of my last posts also go into detail that may help.

Please do repost if you have any specific questions on something that is worrying you :)

Everyone in here is here to help where and when they can. Not everyone has OA in the same place though... for e ample, some may have it in one knee but nowhere else, some have it in one hip or solely in the lumbar (bottom area of the spine between the upper part of the hips), some have it in several joints, some are covers in it, and have it in areas where, unlike a hip or knee, it isn't so easily replaceable.

kohai

ikandee Hi

I was diagnosed 3 years ago with oa in my right hip. GP sent me for an xray and booked me 6 sessions with a physio. My first physio appointment was fantastic, one thing he did say was if they could xray the whole adult (40+) population nearly all would have oa in some joints (we are not alone) and they still don't know why some of us get the pain. Lucky us!

Like you my job involves a fair amount of walking and initially sometimes I limped sometimes I didn't. Physio help has massively keeping the muscles strong and the flexibility in the joint as mobile as possible. I would definitely ask about physio and do do the exercises. I now need a replacement. My consultant said he can tell I've been doing physio exercises which will help post op.

You need to learn work with your body and not push yourself too much. Going forward you will have great days and absolute horrible days. You said you volunteer have you spoken to your line manager? It is worth talking to them so they are awear of you diagnosis and may be able to adjust your role so you're not walking as much.

Sorry I've rambled, finally I'd say talk to friends, family and colleagues and let them help.

ikandee
ikandee
in reply to HipHipClunk

Thank you for such an informative and lovely reply HipHipClunk.

I do indeed volunteer at the local NHS hospital, however it's quite difficult to approach my volunteers Manager, absolutely lovely though she is. I'm 49 years old, however my colleagues are in their 70's and 80's and I would feel very guilty asking them to escort patients/visitors to wards and clinics etc, while I sat there writing in the stats book or phoning porters/departments. I have noticed increasing my right hip pain towards the end of my shift is quite bad and I am limping somewhat in elegantly.

I love the volunteering and get far more out of it than I put in and it would saddens me to have to give it up.

The consultant has referred me for physiotherapy and I am hoping it will help. Thanks again for your help. Denise x

HipHipClunk
HipHipClunk
in reply to ikandee

Denise

When I was first diagnosed I found it flattering to be told I'm to young for a hip replacement I was 52. Now at 55 I feel and walk like someone who's 80+.

OA can develop at any age and your colleagues who are more mature are doing well to be active and mobile. I would still speak to your manager, explain you need to stay active but by the end of your shift you are in considerable pain. Ask if you could split your role up so you can do some escortsing and some desk role. I'm sure as a valued member of the team they would support you.

The hardest thing I've found is asking for help. Good luck

Lynda x

I have OA in both my hipsand other joints,I will need to listen to your body and rest when you can, do you take any high dose of Omega 3 daily?, what would you like to know?.

I don't take any Omega 3, maybe that's something I can start to do. Will physiotherapy treatment prevent me from joint replacement? Will it go in to my other hip and knee? Is it progressive? Can I do anything to stop it? Apologies for the litany of questions but it was just described to me as 'old age' and 'wear and tear' by the rheumatologist. I wasn't feeling very well at the time, a bit of a throat infection and just started antibiotics, so didn't ask questions I may normally have. Thank you for your lovely, helpful responses btw. Denise x

Osteopot
Osteopot
in reply to ikandee

Supplements: Omega 3 isn't a bad thing to look into, assuming you don't eat a lot of fish. Omega 3 is known to have some anti-inflammatory properties (vs. omega 6, which are pro-inflammatory). You can read a bit more about that here: nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/o...

Glucosamine chondroitin is a popular supplement. It's very hit or miss whether it helps you or not - my doc suggested I try it for a month to see if it made a difference, and if so, keep taking it, and if not, don't bother.

Turmeric is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, but if you're going to use it, you should add in some black pepper, which aids in absorption.

If you opt to try a supplement, I would try one at a time to see if it actually makes a difference (you basically become your own science experiment).

Physiotherapy preventing replacements: We're all built differently. I saw a physical therapist a bunch after I was first diagnosed (at 39 with severe hip OA in both hips), and he gave me strengthening and flexibility exercises to help. I do them on an almost daily basis, and I exercise (lift weights, walk, hike) at least 4x/week. This past summer, I hiked up three 14,000ft mountains, so take what you will from that. My goal is to push off a replacement as long as possible, for a variety of reasons. However, I do know women in their late 30s who've had hip replacements and are doing really well. If you're on Instagram, let me know, and I can send you their accounts.

Progression: OA is indeed progressive, as in, your mobility can continue to decrease, your flexibility can continue to decrease, and your pain may increase. Note my use of language there. As someone above pointed out, nobody is certain why some have severe pain while others don't. One of my docs was shocked I'm not in pain all the time, based on the way my x-rays looked (yay bone spurs!). My OA manifests more as a mobility issue - I have zero internal rotation on my left side, and minimal on my right. I use hiking sticks when I hike, otherwise my left hip stops functioning properly, and, like you, I adopt a limp. But that doesn't stop me. And since I saw my PT and started stretching, and since I continue to work out, I've found things haven't gotten much worse than when I was first diagnosed. In fact, now that I'm not running on a regular basis, it's far better.

With regard to going to your other hip and knee, I mean, OA doesn't spread quite like chicken pox or something like that. I would really recommend that physio appointment, though, because one of the things I found is I baby my left side, as it's worse, which means sometimes my right side acts up because it's taking the brunt of things. So developing good coping strategies to save the strain on your joints is definitely a good thing.

~Christina

Doctors love to throw OA diagnoises around until it sticks. It was not too long ago I got diagnoised with Psoriatic Arthritis after years of being told I have OA and sadly the delay of treatment for PSA has created lots of problems. It just stinks!

I recommend getting a cane if your limping to prevent body imbalances that can lead to other areas being effected.

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