24 years old with possible osteoarthritis.... advice needed

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Hi Team,

Im new to this thread as im struggling with possible Osteoarthritis at age 24. Please advise with any of your experience or knowledge.

Situation: 24 year old male who and im highly active in surfing, motorcycle racing, softball etc

I had right knee ACL, MCL, PCL, LCL and meniscus surgery in 2008 and right knee ACL surgery in 2012. Now that is has been 10 years since my first surgery im struggling more than ever with my knees. Just last year I was playing softball and surfing and never noticed my knee pain! Currently i struggle to walk or stand without knee pain and a feeling of weakness and my knees ache and feel swollen at the end of any workouts or activities. The only thing that has changed is i had a shoulder surgery and I have been very inactive for the past 6 months.

I had an MRI and X ray that both came back fairly clean with no major signals of Osteoarthritis, my ACL reconstructions are in place although my left was an outdated procedure and is a little lose. My surgeon said Osteoarthritis is inevitable and I have read many articles that say ACL surgery patients develop osteoarthritis within 15 years.

My questions are;

How fast can this issue come on?

What does inital stage Osteoarthrits feel like?

What can i do to get ahead of this? Any specialits?

My fear is that im young at age 24 I never imagined that I would have to deal with this and give up things like surfing etc.

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    It is possible that you have or are on your way to having osteoarthritis. Even though your doctor hasn't found any evidence of it as of yet, I think that it would be a good idea if your doctor takes periodic looks at your knee, because while it may be too early to see degeneration of the cartilage in your knee right now, it could show up later.

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  • Posted

    Hi Clayton

    Sorry to hear of your worries re OA. With the injuries you have had to date it is possible that you may develop OA in time. It took 13 yrs for me. My OA is mild and causes no symptoms itself but i did develop achillies, peroneal tendonitis and plantar fasciitis all at once and thats how my OA was then diagnosed. I was told the OA had caused stiffness (not noticed by me) in the ankle and that in turn prevented the tendons from moving normally so became strained. It took 18months to sort but Im back exercising. I know others who manage OA and still exercise. So my thought is look after your knees, use a sleeve support, take anti inflammatories and use ice lay off or cut down activity until the swelling stops, it might be better in the long run. Good luck

    Sue

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  • Posted

    This is what I have done. I was diagnosed with OA at age 40 but I am sure I had it developing in my feet and neck long before. Since the diagnosis I have taken glucosamine, two 1000 mg capsules (not tablets) morning and evening with a meal. I also think vitamin B6 is supposed to be helpful so every second day I take a complete B vitamin complex.

    The other thing is I read early on that nsaids (including our friend aspirin) interfere with cartilage regeneration so do not take them for OA. Only use them short term if you need them for other reasons, like a headache. I do not take any pain killers for osteoarthritis.

    I told you I was diagnosed at 40. I have arthritis in hands (that's what triggered the diagnosis), feet, spine (neck and lumbar) and knees, one worse than other as I had a tibial plateau fracture a few years ago. This OA is confirmed through x-rays. I am now over 70 and I function well, exercise , etc. I am not overweight and am told this has helped. I have physio exercises for nearly every part of my body and do them faithfully, boring though they be, morning and evening nearly every day.

    Because of your injuries I think it inevitable you'll have to find different types of sports to participate in in order to protect your joints, but I bet you can find something which will give you pleasure and keep you active.

    All the best.

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    • Posted

      To address your specific concerns - keep moving, keep active, just be mindful of protecting vulnerable joints, eat a good diet and maintain a healthy weight. Whatever you do to protect your bones will also be good for your heart and your brain so in the long run you may be healthier than ever!

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