Arthritis for ten years - what now?

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I have osteoarthritis and it is gradually getting worse.  To start with my GP gave me diclofenac which really helped, but then I had to come off them as they were affecting my kidneys.

I am in a lot of pain, especially in my hips and knees. The only pain killer my doctor can give me is co-dydramol, which helps a little, but not enough for me to lead a full and happy life.

Someone gave me a few of her diclofenac a month ago, and I took them, but within three days my ankles got very swollen, and I knew that was a sign of kidney disease, so I stopped them.

Has anyone got any advice? Are there medications that really help but don't damage the kidneys?

Should I go to my GP and ask for a referral for hip and knee replacements?

Thanks for any replies.

Jasper.

 

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  • Posted

    Hi Jasper;  am wondering do have a Rhuematologist that helps with your treatment for your OA?     I feel this may be your 1st move, as they are the specialists in this field  (I have been under same rhuemy for my OA and other auto-immune conditions, and she is the one who  advises my GP on treatment/s).     Also, am wondering if you have ever tried having Cortisone Injections into affected areas?   (I don't know how they would go with your kidney probs, but maybe an answer, before having replacements???)   I have had MANY joints injected over the years, and to much benefit ( most needed at least 2 into each joint, but really don't have much trouble now, just need to take my Osteo-panadol, and sometimes some Brufen, when rainy weather);  and it is quite a few years since my last injection/s.   Also, I am presuming that you have invested in some Oteo-supports....(I have mittens for typing...a back-brace when sitting for long periods and driving.....and make use of knee supports/tubi-grip  for support of other areas (knees/elbows/wrists/ankles etc). and of course the good old menthol rubs (or similar) with heat packs (I guess I should say that I DO have a Lot of trouble with my neck, as this is too dicey to have injected, and my TMJs (but if this gets too bad, again, I do have a request slip to have my TMJs injected via use of Ultra-sound to guide into the correct site)

    ?So yes, I do think you may have a lot of options before having surgery; but this is completely your decision; but do speak to a Rhuematologist before an Orthopaedic surgeon, and then if you still decide to go this way, I would suggest trying  to find  a  Good Sport's Ortho Surgeon (as they specialize in damaged joints)....................keep in contact, and let  us know what you   come up  with.............good thoughts for you,  Bron

    ?Hoping that this has given you somewhere to go from?    Bron

    ?Also, there are many anti-inflammatories on the market, but would advise that you only take what the Rhuematolgist prescribes, due to your kidneys.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for all your advice, Bronwyn.

      I will definitely go to my doctor and ask for a referral to a rheumatologist.

      I have asthma, and sometimes have to have steroids, which I hate, but maybe cortisone is different in its effects?

      Luckily I don't have to worry about TMJs  It's 'only' both knees and both hips.

      Thank you again for the advice.

      Jasper.

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  • Posted

    Hello Jasper,   There are many drugs for arthritis. I have had arthritis since aged 11 so  i have tried many. I currently take Gaberpentin and Amitriptyline to help with sleep. I would certaintly go back to your GP and ask for something else to try. You could also ask to be refered to a pain management clinic who are experienced in helping those in chronic pain. I don't know your age but joint replacements are an option. You could ask for a referal to a consultant thou you will have to answer about 20 questions about how your joints affect you. I have had my left knee replaced twice, first at aged 39 and again at 52, i am due to have my right knee replaced and i am now 60. Replacement gave me my life back, i was free of pain and my mobility increased. I hope you can find some help as this is a debilitating disease. First port of call is the GP to get through to other services. 

    Elizabeth.

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    • Posted

      I am already on gabapentin, and it helps, but the dose my doctor prescribes isn't high enough (I know because I tried a higher dose for a few days and the pain was much better.)

      It looks like I'll have to get a joint replacement appointment - i am sixty and I can't go on like this.

      Do you find it harder  to walk on slopes - I mean up hills and down hills? Because I do. On the flat it is still painful but not as bad.

      Thanks for replying,

      Jasper

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    • Posted

      Hello Jasper, ah we are the same age. I take less Gaberpentin than what i am prescribed because of weight gain. Yes i do find it harder to walk on slopes but i have had problems from a young age and i have stents in my leg to support my second knee replacement. With a first joint replacement you will have greater mobility and virtually pain free. Are you in the UK? You must look into your options but i have tried steriod injections which didn't help at all and i had ultra sound treatment which also didn't help. You may be offered steriods first but if your joints are bad enough you will be offered surgery. As i said i have now being offered surgery for my right knee. Don't leave it any longer, you need your life back now not when your 80. Good luck. Maybe if you want to you could let me know how you get on when you see your GP. I still have to take Gaberpentin because of how long i have had arthritis and having the right knee in so much pain now. You may not need any drugs after hopefully.

      Elizabeth.

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