Frustrated at Dr Only Wanting to Argue and Push Pills

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Was diagnosed over 3 years ago with severe osteoarthritis in my knee. Doctor prescribed Tramadol and physio which did nothing to help. So just got on with life as under 50 so no help.Went to the doctors today to be told I don't have osteoarthritis that's it's ligaments and bones don't feel pain. Prescribed more pain meds and back to physio because in the UK unless you crawl in and are under 50 years you don't get referred to a specialist, you keep doing pain meds to which I will need surgery from them destroying my stomach. Feel completely frustrated as you can get cosmetic surgery done for free on the NHS but not knee surgery!

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  • Posted

    i totally sympathise.  I have increasing OA, first started in one ankle as a result of an accident which destroyed the cartilage, now I have it in neck/upper spine and both thumbs.  I've also developed fibromyalgia like symptoms and saw a rheumatologist for a review last week. Got told by her that she's 'a pill pusher' - her words not mine and thatI should basically not expect any other help other than pain meds.  I left the hospital after the appointment in shreds, was crying all the way home.  I feel totally disrespected by the NHS, having paid NI contributions for some 45 years or more!

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    • Posted

      Morning Loxie.  You poor thing - that doctor is a disgrace to the medical profession. You most definitely need to see a different doctor!

      As the others have said on this post, they were treated very well by the NHS.  Unfortunately it seems to be a county lottery as far as help goes on the NHS.  Where do you live?

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    • Posted

      Hi Constance.  I live in Hertfordshire in the UK.  I waited over six months for the first appointment on referral from my GP.  The rheumy said definitely not fibro but thought it might be excess iron in blood. Ferritin test proved negative however.  In meantime I had an ultrasound which showed full thickness rupture of bicep tendons (rotator cuff) got referred to ortho surgeon (4 month wait), he referred me for MRI which showed reduction in discs in neck (ie beginnings of OA).  Referred me for physio. Two months later had one appointment with PT but just got given a photocopied sheet with some neck exercises.  Then 6 months after 1st rheumy appointment got review appt with her.  Despite my pain issues being elsewhere in body than neck/shoulder, plus many other symptoms such as over sensitivity to light, sounds, stomach problems, chronic fatigue etc., she seemed to want to put the cause down to the shoulder problems and not sleeping properly and said only option was to take pain meds and once my sleep was better all the other problems would miraculously disappear.  I'm only not sleeping well DUE to the pain and the light/sound/fatigue started before my sleep problems.  This has taken over 4 years, with so far 16 lots of blood tests and I'm back to square one - ie 'take this pill' - I've tried everything they've offered - amitryptaline, gabapentin, tramadol, anti inflamms, paracetamol, the list goes on.  They either dont work or have such horrendous side effects that I have to stop taking them.  When I said to the rheumy that I really would prefer not to get hooked on something toxic and addictive she got angry and that's when she said - I'm not a surgeon, I'm a pill pusher.....there is nothing else, take it or leave it. She's considered very eminent apparently but to be honest a little bit of sympathy and understanding would have helped.  I didnt choose to get sick and I've always tried to stay healthy, fit and eat well - before this I didnt have high blood pressure, wasnt overweight, normal blood sugar, etc etc.

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  • Posted

    Have you thought about 2nd Opinion It's you're right ? I have had OA for many years and Total Knee Replacement at age 49 n

    12 years ago was quite rare I was So very lucky to have had a Orthopedic Surgeon that Sympathised with Me Don't Give Up

    I am now waiting for 2nd Knee Replacement Other Knee😮

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  • Posted

    Hi Tamara, I would seek a second opinion. I had a TKR aged 39 and revision one done at aged 52. I have just had a partial knee on other knee. I am 60 now. I do think that the NHS is cutting back on Knee, Hip and cataract operations. I would stress that your in a lot of pain and that your not happy being on pain killers all the time. I think its better to have the quality of life now and be pain free rather than later, as you are young enough to enjoy life but without so much pain. 

    Elizabeth

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    • Posted

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I read your post with great interest, I have just been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of my knee, at 44, it's took me by surprise as I was pretty fit and active,( running, biking, spin, gym) and didn't realise my knee was getting so bad as I didn't have pain doing these activities. I feel terrible that I have probably accelerated this, when I was trying to get fit and active, to keep doing stuff with my sons, we hiked a lot as a family, and I won't be able to climb mountains anymore.

      I am not in great pain, at the moment, but have am struggling with all the restrictions, I cant really walk down stairs or upstairs normally, but was doing everything fine, just 2 months ago, have bought a walking stick, find standing still pretty uncomfortable after about 5-10 mins, and find slopes a real challenge. I think a knee replacement is in my future now, so I am interested in your story, having had one so young, were you able to return to activities?

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    • Posted

      Hello Catherine, I am sorry you are having trouble with Osteo Athritis and being young. It's very difficult to compare what one person suffers to another. I had Septic Arthritis aged 11 which then became Osteo Arthritis, so i have suuffered most of my life. I had my first knee replacement due to deformity and my ligaments gone. Surgeons will look at each case due to it's own merits. My right one is normal wear and tear from taking a lot of strain off my left knee. I suspect you have normal wear and tear from your activities. I would only consider a knee replacement if you are in constant pain day and night. Walking up and down stairs is a problem and standing as you say. My right knee as had a partial knee done which are quite successful. I cannot really say about returning to normal activities as i have not being very active most of my life due to my left knee. You will be able to walk well and maybe several miles after, you won't be able to run or do high impact exercises or where you would be twisting. You should be able to do some workouts at the gym and ride a bike. Swimming is good exercise. So you will not be totally restricted, you can change the activities. If the operation is successful you will be pain free after recovery. Only your surgeon can see what damage your knee is in so be guided by what they say. Only have the operation if all else as failed. Being young you will be more supple than say someone in their 70's so will be more mobile afterwards. ONly make a choice when you know all the facts from your surgeon. I would not of walked again at 39 without a new knee. I know have stents from my second knee to support it. I can say from all the operations i have had i am walking fairly normal now with just a stick, i am hoping i may walk without for short distances in time. It's wonderful what can be done with modern medicne. 

      I hope you will be able to find whats best for you at this stage. 

      Best wishes.

      Elizabeth.

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  • Posted

    Hi Tamera!

    So sorry to hear of your pain and your frustration !

    I went the route of PT, cortisone shot in my right knee, refusal by my insurance to get the OrthoDisc injections to rebuild cartilage and finally just STOPPED going to doctors!

    Like you I had stomach issues and due to the Meloxicam I was given I developed an ulcer. Upper and lower GI testing made me very weird feeling for at least a year. Took AGES to rebuild my intestinal flora back!

    A severe pain attack on my left knee which felt like a SWORD going in the back of my knee and coming out my kneecap forced me back to my doctor. X-rays showed he could bypass arthroscopic surgery and go straight to KNEE REPLACEMENTS!

    I was so excited that we scheduled my first surgery for three weeks later. I had the typical recovery, swelling, learning to walk correctly, etc. and signed up to do it all over again three and a half months later because my surgical knee felt SO MUCH BETTER and my other knee was painful and holding me back from everything.

    My knee replacements have given me back my life. I am 65 but feel 40.

    Go talk to another surgeon. Insist on new X-RAYS which MAY show further deterioration.

    Oh, and both of my knees were BONE-ON-BONE. I could FEEL and HEAR them rubbing together. You DEFINITELY feel pain in bones! Ask ANYONE who has experienced BONE-ON-BONE pain! The pain would radiate from my knees to my feet and fromy knees up to my hips. It would make me dizzy and nauseated as well.

    Please get a second opinion!

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  • Posted

    Im sorry you cant get help Tamara I know its not fair I had to push to get my knee sorted as I was under 60 I had my left knee done 2 years ago only because I pleaded with my orthopeadic surgeon. My daughter was getting married in the august I had my knee dine in the april and didn't want to be on crutches I have now moved to Salisbury from kent and am now under a new orthopeadic surgeon he wants to do my right knee this year if I can lose weight its very hard but now I've got fibromyalgia and I find being active very difficult I do hope you get help soon as I had all the pills and patches and physio they could give none worked xxx

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