Just diagnosed with knee arthritis and 44, feeling devastated

Posted , 5 users are following.

Hi all,

Just been diagnosed with pretty severe knee osteoarthritis, without much warning, had a small niggly pain, which sent me to the Drs.

I have been getting fit and exercising over the last year, have done some fun runs, and probably have accelerated what was lurking in there, so now feel like crap.

I feel like I have caused this, and am constantly blaming myself. I am having extreme difficulty walking any distance, and am struggling to come to terms with my new life. I am worried, that I can't look after my kids properly now.

I used to be so fit and active, and now am a disaster.

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Catherine!

    First, I would suggest that you see a Rheumotologist. They do extensive blood testing to test for the many and varied types of arthritis. This is important because diagnosing the particular type of arthritis and, more importantly, ELIMINATING various types of arthritis you may have based on the absence of certain markers in your blood is ESSENTIAL to getting you the right treatment.

    I was initially diagnosed as having osteoarthritis in 2011. I was given pain meds (Meloxicam) and sent on my way. My pain increased, and stomach issues began due to the medication. That sent me to get an upper and lower GI which was inconclusive. Meanwhile pain got worse. I was sent to a Rheumotologist for further testing.

    I was VERY PLEASED to discover that my blood testing showed no RA, Lupus, or other auto+immune arthritis types.

    This led me back to my original doctor who took more X-RAYS, saw increased deterioration and said I was NOW a candidate for KNEE replacement surgery.

    I tell you all this because by going through all the blood testing I KNEW what I DIDN'T have. This gave me the information necessary to make my decision to get my two Total Knee Replacements (June and October 2015).

    I knew DEFINITELY what was wrong, that medication wasn't helping and that SURGERY was my best chance for a normal life.

    I have been VERY Pleased with my decision and am able to walk, stand, shop, garden, and anything else I wish to do. I was glad I was able to rule out other types of arthritis that are remedied differently than Osteoarthritis. I was glad to get a clear diagnosis and then move forward on proper treatment FOR my type of arthritis.

    Don't feel bad about things! Above all, don't blame yourself! If it IS Osteoarthritis in your knees it is fixable! Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage to deteriorate. Bone-on-bone action results. This causes pain. Cortisone shots can help. Arthroscopic surgery can buy you some more time. Some people get these shots made from rooster combs which can help. Knee replacements are surgery with recovery time, but for me, they ELIMINATED knee pain. That was worth it for me!

    I have osteoarthritis in OTHER joints and in my lower back. It is annoying but NOTHING like my knee pain was. SO GLAD to be done with THAT pain!

    I am 65 and was able to dance for hours at my son's wedding several months ago. That NEVER would have been possible without my surgery. Knowing I didn't have other types of arthritis which can cause more difficulties put my mind at ease.

    I hope this helps you!😊

    Take care!

    Let us know how you are doing!

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    • Posted

      Thanks you, I am seeing a sports doctor, and MRI has confirmed things, but your advice is very good about getting the correct information

      I take comfort from your message, I have just had the simvisc( rooster comb) so am waiting to see if that helps a bit.

      I am just so shocked as I was aiming to get fit and healthy, and all the exercise I was doing (running, biking etc, bush walking ) was probably very bad for my knees , just didn't really realise it was doing so much harm, so feel so stupid.

      Think, I am too young for a knee op, at this early stage of things, plus they aren't going there as yet, so many lifestyle changes to consider, which I am not coping with adjusting to.

      I have two active young boys and was trying to get fit to keep up with them, now I cant even walk to work!

      Gosh how life takes a different course sometimes.

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  • Posted

    You didn't cause this, your genes did. If anything all the activity has given you longer to be mobile. It's very common and simply a sign of getting older

    i have it in my fingers and as others have said surgery gets you pain free and mobile again

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    • Posted

      Thanks, for your message, but I think I have much accelerated things by my choice of exercise and activities, this year, but I thought I was doing a good thing, running etc, it seems like everyone I know was running or training for something, and now it's too late, so I have am facing a tough time with the old self blame and what's ahead of me.

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    • Posted

      Not your fault.Some people can run and be OK.Its So difficult to accept when you are an active person.I am sure you will return to walking or trekking etc just not running!

      Good luck x Janet

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    • Posted

      You need to research the condition more, a lack of use will cause the joints to get worse with OE so exercise is good. 

      OE can be aggravated by an old injury, in my case when I was a child for my hand. 

      Dont blame youself its in your genes and would have come eventually. By doing exercise you kept the pain at bay so well done you. Don't beat yourself up it was coming, thank your parents for that as they gave you your genes. Not your fault it's theirs!! 

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  • Posted

    Hi Catherine i know its hard but you need to adapt thats all it is about is adapting im 37 and now confined to using walking stick and crutches after having a healthy life, ive had grade 4 rapi onset osteo in both knees and all over body for 4 years and at first was devastated but with the right care and help you can get through it, i thought id never be able to have a family but after long talks with my wife we are going to try and have a baby whatever my condition,you can still be fit and active just at a sower pace as for looking after your kids properly you will be able to so still at the end of the day your kids will love you whatever is the matter, anytime you want to talk let me know
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  • Posted

    Hi Catherine!

    My homecare PT shared with me that she had both knees replaced at 42. She had been in SEVERE pain for many years. Her pain began in her 30s. Because she herself knew firsthand about the surgery, the recovery and also was a physical therapist by trade, she was an amazing inspiration to me.

    As others have said, Osteoarthritis is a product of our heredity as are many other diseases. I, too, was always active. The number of times I fell while skating as a kid or literally fell out of trees, off my bike, or into the creek while slipping off vines are all too numerous to count. I took up walking in 2000 to ward off pounds that had crept up over the years and was very successful. I MAY have hurried up my Osteoarthritis, but I also got stronger and healthier, too!

    Osteoarthritis will come if it is in your genes. Time frames are anyone's guess!

    What I CAN tell you is that if you need knee replacements, you need knee replacements. If you need shots or additional surgeries, so be it. I can now hold my own in walking, standing, and doing other things that used to cause me severe pain. I'm SO happy that I faced MY REALITY and just went forward to solve my issues. I was in denial and feeling sorry for myself for several years. We then heard we were going to become grandparents. Our youngest son got engaged and was planning his wedding. I had TWO big reasons to get going and get FIXED.

    Playing with our granddaughter and dancing at our youngest son's wedding were DO-ABLE for me BECAUSE I went ahead and gave my knees the priority they needed.

    Please don't be sad!

    It will all be OK.

    Keep coming here and reading and contributing. 💗

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