Is it inevitable that knee osteoarthritis will get worse?

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i have had ostoearthritis in my right knee for almost 3 years after 2 really nasty headlong falls onto a stone floor.  I was prescribed voltarol gel and paracetamol and the pain subsided significantly using the gel. Always an active person  and a keen gardener I also took up walking briskly on a daily basis and the pain disappeared although I was always conscious of it in the background.

Recently I have found the pain increasing and occasionaly the joint just gives way. Worst of all though is that I can be woken up by pain during the early hours and no matter how i lie in bed I can do little to relieve it.  It  improves when I get up but can be very stiff first thing in the morning.

Is this likely to progress to something worse ? I am 72

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  • Posted

    Well yes, but the outcome can be extremly positive.

    I have OA in my fingers. The first one because extremly painful and after injections, voltarol etc the pain became almost unbearable. Saw the consultant and he recommended a finger joint replacement, result, absolutely pain free!!!

    The second finger was a different story, it became very stiff and no pain. Due to stiffness saw consultant again and I had let it go too long.... another finger joint replacement was required but unfortunately I could not have the replacement which suited my lifestyle. Again another positive result and I can move my finger again and no pain.

    Therefore I would recommend not letting it go on too long and if you are suitable, look forward to a joint replacement and freedom again.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I had been hoping I'd be the lucky one to 'get away with it' but probably not. I saw my mother and grandmother crippled with OA in both knee and hip so was upset to develop it. it hasn't been a problem since the initial diagnosis, the pain disappeared although I was constantly aware that it was lurking somewhere beneath. The knee is horribly swollen though, measuring a full inch more in circumference than the left knee, not sure if this is normal. I've been woken up almost nightly with pain for the past months.  Not wanting to make a fuss I haven't been back to the GP about it; I do know that she does these [cortisone?] injections but have heard varying reports on how successful they are.  Perhaps it's time to make a return visit. 

      I also have stiff finger joints with some pain so perhaps should mention these too after what you have told me. Thanks for your help.

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  • Posted

    Hello Jane, have you seen a consultant as yet, ask your GP for a referal as there are many options and treatments available now.  I have had knee replacements although was quite young when i had the first one. Don't suffer. Also if your knee is giving way then you should get it looked at. 

    Bestwishes.

    Elizabeth.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jane, I too sometimes get a swollen knee especially if I have been walking up and down a lot of stairs. Pain killers and anti inflammatories help but I also found if I have to work or if I know I am going to be doing something tat puts stress on my knee that I wear a therma bandage. It gives me some support in the short term. 
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  • Posted

    I can only tell you MY experience. At age 30 I got my first glimpses of what was to come. Stiffness, occasional pain, etc. would creep in randomly. I began taking Osteo-Biflex and other glucosimine products as Osteoarthritis runs in both sides of my family.

    Fast forward 30 years...

    My husband and I had my 99 year old mom here at our home for two years. Lots of work, even MORE STRESS. Both my husband and I found marked physical issues starting to rear their ugly heads! Mine was my osteoarthritis. His was the pheripheral neuropathy associated with his diabetes.

    Because pretty much ALL of our attention and time needed to be focused on my mom, we put our aches and pains on the back burner.

    That was four years ago, and Mom has since passed away...just 25 days shy if her 101st birthday!

    Comparing my X-RAYS of my knees from FOUR YEARS AGO to those of just a couple months ago, the damage was UNBELIEVABLE!

    FOUR years ago my knees still had cartilage. They were alligned. They had bone spurs, but the damage hadn't yet gotten TOO awful . Insurance would only pay for PT and cortisone. They refused to pay for the injections of the rooster combs that is SUPPOSED to boost levels of cartilage.

    My cortisone shot helped only for four DAYS. I was very discouraged. Then we had my mom here, so things got put on hold. That was 2011.

    In May of this year (2015) SEVERE PAIN took me back to my doctor.

    New X-RAYS showed BONE-ON-BONE, no cartilage, but MOST DISTURBING was seeing the BOWUNG of my legs AND me literally walking on this tilted one inch piece of bone-on-bone of my inner knees! (By the way, I had WORN OFF all my bone spurs by WALKING!!)

    DOC said I had two choices...do nothing OR repkce BOTH KNEES!

    After seeing those HIDEOUS X-RAYS, I KBEW I had no choice IF I didn't want to spend the rest of my life in a scooter or wheelchair.

    I'm 64. Longevity runs in my family. Spending my next 40 YEARS in a wheelchair didn't sound good to me,csi I booked my first surgery THAT DAY before I left his office!

    My second knee is scheduled for October of this year.

    I hope this helps!

    I wish you much success and NO PAIN!

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