Just diagnosed with Heberdens Nodes / Osteoarthritis, received no help/support, help please?

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After having pain in finger joints, swelling, lumps and red / warm to touch, I went the doctors yesterday and after a very brief 5 min appointment was told I had osteoarthritis / Heberden's nodes.  I was really upset as i am only 46 and a childminder, so constantly doing up buckles on car seats, buggies, high chairs etc and also have 4 children and a young daughter.    I managed to ask if I could take anything to help and slow down process as within a couple of months the lumps have grown rapidly on 3 fingers on left hand and look like starting on right.  He just said well you could gtry glucosomine if you want some doctors think it does nothing some doctors think it helps, up to you!!!  I am absolutely devastated as I have no idea how this will affect me in the future.  Any advice / knowledge would be extremely appreciated.  Thank you so much.

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Tillymint62

    I completely understand your frustration and how upset you

    feel !! I've had the same kind of answers from some Doctors over the years! They DO NOT understand how OA affects those of us that are afflicted with this chronic debilitating illness!

    I don't have much luck with mefication I'm afraid, so, sorry I can't advise you on that, but, I know there will be someone on this site who will be able to.

    I would suggest if it's possible, change your GP!! There ARE some who try gpgo help us, after all, they ARE there to help us!

    that's what they're paid to do!

    Try to get a other GP to hear and see how bad you are, it just

    isnt right that we should struggle to be heard, especially by

    someone who's job it is to listen and to help!

    YoyYou have every right to ask to see anoyanother Gp on the

    practice if there are any.

    What a dreadful situation to be in.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Please keep us informed, and just remember, there are lots and

    lots of us on here who will be rooting for you!

    Take care,



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  • Posted

    Hello tillymint,

    I too have had bad experiences with one of my GP's - after getting an x-ray which showed severe OA in my neck, my GP told me "get on with it, nothing can be done".   I paid for a second opinion, he was talking rubbish, I was offered an operation which has been a life saver.   I've also had operations on my fingers, mainly successful, though not always.  Please don't despair, there are some doctors out there who ARE able to help.


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    • Posted

      I too have severe oa in my neck and also hip. What excactly did they do to your neck. My doctor tells me to learn to live with it. I am only 44 and the oa causes a lot of pain and stiffness . Hope you are well !!
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  • Posted

    I had a bone fusion in my C5/6 vertebrae.    I was in hospital only two days and when I was discharged (wearing a collar) I was told I had to keep the collar on for six weeks, plus I shouldn't go into any form of transport for that length of time, in case it jerked.   I did as I was told, and for the first time in about 30 years, I wake up now with no pain in my neck/shoulders.  
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    • Posted

      Thats brilliant. I see the specialist on the 6th of june. He will need to do scans which might be another few months. Thats the way it goes here in spain through the national health.I also had to stop work and am on the sickpay. This might help cause you get put on to their doctors and specialists. I had this 3 years and everything was done in a few days !!!! Fingers crossed.thanks for your quick reply.
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  • Posted

    So very sorry to hear of your arthritis problems Tillymint, I appreciate how painful and restricting this condition can be.  I believe nodes can be removed successfully.  I have OA in one ankle due to a major accident and also in both thumb joints (apparently a common form for middle aged women).  I don't have swelling or nodes thankfully. Generally speaking there is no 'cure' for arthritis but an awful lot can be done to minimise the pain and improve quality of life.  Diet plays a big part - it's important to find and exclude foods that trigger pain and inflammation and seek out those things that have natural anti-inflammatory properties - ginger, garlic, turmeric, etc - there's a massive list so it should be easy to incorporate at least some into your meal planning.  Topical anti inflammatories work much better on swollen areas than they do with internal joint inflammation, so maybe you could try something like voltarol gel etc.  I personally found glucosamine of little help, even with chondroitin but others have said it's useful.  Supplements which may provide relief include Biotin, hyaluronic acid (in capsule form), curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric), etc.  It's trial and error to see which works for you but its important to give them a chance to work, say a couple of months at minimum.  None of the above have side effects. Cool packs can help with hot and swollen joints but do not leave them on for too long they can cause tissue damage.  Never put anything frozen directly onto the skin, always wrap it in a towel etc.  Your doctor sounds like mine, their view is that they've given you a diagnosis and so their job is done.  What rubbish, good doctors will work with you to help you find the best way forward for your individual case.  We're all different - arthritis isn't an ingrowing toenail, there are a million different scenarios and effects depending on the type and the individual patient, each has to be looked at on its own merits and a treatment plan has to suit you not the doctor or the pharmaceutical industry.  Anti inflamm meds to work in a lot of cases but it's a bit hit and miss to find one that suits you - ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, etc., some work for some, others dont.  Make sure you take a stomach protector with any NSAIDs, eg omeprazole etc.  Hope the responses on here help you find the best solution for your personal circumstances.  xx
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  • Posted

    Hi tillymint62


    I also suffer from heberdes and bouchards OA you need to go back to your GP and ask to be refered to an occupational therapist,i was diagnosed in 2012 but started with it a few years earlier,i wear a thumb support on both hands and a finger splint they are very helpfull as they restrict movement,i am in the process of having another set made,but unfortunately i am now having to give up work as i am a domestic in a nursing home and the work is very demanding and i can no longer cope.i hope this has helped a little 

    regards karen.

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  • Posted

    I have them and to be honest I don't find them as much of a problem as when the next joint down in the finger starts to go. My consultant recomended Volatrol gel which I find helps a bit, and he too tells me that there is nothing that he can really do for me. One of my fingers is really starting to twist at the top, but I can still use it. We did try the glucosomine but stopped so the verdict is out on that one.

    I trust my consultant as I think he has been very honest with me and when he can make a difference he does, two finger joint replacments later, we joke about what will be the next think he will fix on my hand and I know it wont be the nodes.


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