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Geoffrey Settle

Osteoarthritus - treatment go for it or not?

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Hi

The practice nurse rang me at home last night and told me that the x-rays taken showed that I had osteoarthritis and did I want the operation now. I didn't even know what it is until I googled it.

It does explain the pains that float around my legs and muscles, shins etc the recent groin strain with my 28 day streak of running, the fact that for the last 3 years I haven't been able to get down to my feet to tie my shoes laces or cut my toes. The refusal of the sports physio to give me a sports massage . I even went to a Yoga teacher and did a session he has just told me that I can't come back.

What advice would you offer an aging athlete of 66 who want to get back to serious running?

Ignore it and plough on or go for the major operation on the hips?

 

 

 

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Who told you that exercise was good for you Geoff?

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The bad news is, there's no cure -  it's basically a case of your immune system attacking your own body; exercise can excite the   inflamation and create pain. So, it's down to the tablets (painkillers and anti-inflamatories) Geoff,   and if your really desperate, an artificial hip or knee.  

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Get an electric scooter Geoff & keep taking ibuprofen. I started with it in my hands & wrists in my early 20s & it's just something you have to live with as it spreads through the body.

At least the aches & pains confirm you are still alive.

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Geoff,  I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 15 years ago.  With the help of Methotrexate (chemo in a pill ), daily Prednisone (steroid) and Hydrocondone pain pills for occasional severe attacks, I have lived a normal, athletic life, including bicycle racing and 18 holes of golf 5 days a week.  Overall stiffness is a problem, especially getting out of bed, but I move pretty good after about thirty minutes.  My golf swing suffers a little, but I shot 81 today, just one over my age, so it's not a disaster.  With the help of a good physician you can 'manage' the condition.  My kidneys are in continual jeopardy due to the aggressive medication, but as long as I drink a 55 gal drum full of water every day, they are surviving.  I would never consider surgery until you have tried medication.  Good luck.

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In my personal experience , once I retired and became" of a certain age" my local gp's seemed to just humour me when I visited complaining about my bad back and shoulders, just keep on taking the pills I am told plus stop drinking and smoking(i.e. enjoying the last few pleasures available at my age! )

And all being well( If your still on this mortal coil) you will be seen for your medication review in 12 months time.

In other words "" Put up and shut up ""

 

Image result for doctors old people funny cartoons

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What Geoff is talking about is an incurable ailment that can be positively identified from blood work.   Rheumatologists have computer software that identify all the symptoms .   It even shows up exactly where a current problem is located in your body - from imfamation heat I guess.  It's a little different than the usual aches and pains, if untreated you end up in a wheelchair.

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The usual pills (methotrexate and steroids) can prove toxic over long periods, and damage the liver; new options like Erelzi (injection) are now available.   Seems our genetic disposition for such immune diseases was inherited from our ancestors interaction with Neanderthals, same with obesity !

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Know it only too well Obs.  Been on those meds for about 16 yrs, get tested every three months and get the usual ass eating cos my creatic level is threequarters up the scale to failure - but can't drink any more water without drowning !  Unfortunately at my stage and my type of disease, nothing will work on me but the poison pills.  Still, can't complain, at the moment I have three friends undergoing chemo for lymph node cancer, I know that I'm the lucky one.

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Well I feel I must eat humble pie here.

After my tongue in cheek comments on my local gp practice...

Yesterday I phoned for a blood test to find out why I had thirst and tiredness,answered almost immediately

.Fixed me up for the same morning.

Had test and results by midday today.

Spot on .. Private care would not have been better

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On 5/23/2019 at 3:33 PM, Observer II said:

btw. how is Geoff - still with us ?    😉

Yep one year on and still around - almost twelve months after the Practice Nurse said I had the issue with my hips - I have an appointment to get my hips replaced - in the words of the consultant both of your hips are knackered. I gave up taking paracetamol and especially ibuprofen because the latter stopped me breathing twice. Apparently as an asthmatic I shouldn't have been taking them because there can be an allergic reaction - it was the pharmacist who asked if I'd read the leaflet - I hadn't. Another thing is I find it hard to walk slowly, stand for periods etc but I can jog. Once I start jogging and overcome the initial pain I'm ok for a couple of km - the consultant said that it's probably because I have better balance jogging than walking or it could also be the bits of bone floating (the light grey bits on the x-ray) around that get stuck in the hips which is agony when this happens. The joys of getting old  🤔

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This is far from a flippant comment.

I sometimes wonder that if apart from medical emergencies,we should just let nature take it's course.

As  in all likelihood it will anyway no matter how hard we try.

And instead of spending so much time in surgeries etc we should maybe spend it enjoying our retirement and doing all the things we promised ourselves over the years spent sat in the office.

Que Sera Sera 

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Not sure that's possible Latch, if your mobility is impaired and a "new" joint could improve life.  However, I'm told these implants have a 15 year lifespan, so if you live longer than that, it may need replacing - room for some cost -benefit analysis.

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If I took Locks advice I'd be long gone - dead and buried many years ago - however 15 years or even 10 years out of my new hips will be just right for me - I will be ready for the cremation by then anyway - no way am I going to last much longer than that - I've certainly got my full value out of my body and often pushed it to the limit and beyond. I just want to squeeze a bit more out of it without the pain of knackered hips.😰🤧😜

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I think most of us here are in the same boat but to some extent I do get what Latchford’s saying. If Geoff want’s some new hips to stop pain, then can’t argue with that but he makes it sound like he wants the hips so he can do more of what possibly contributed to the problem in the first place. Isn’t that like wanting a lung transplant so you can be better drag on a cig in your final years?

I always liken the human body to a car. Look after it, and don’t constantly rag it and it should last a good while. You know its eventually going to reach a point where where the performance drops off but if when you reach that point, you take it easy, then you’ll probably get a good few more miles out of it.

Take it easy Geoffrey.

 

Bill :)

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Wise words, I think I forgot to say it's my hips and the x-rays confirm that they are both knackered with little floaty grey bits that are bone. I've stopped wearing socks because I can't reach my feet anymore and I get pain in my  legs/shins/muscles (calf, thigh etc), knees when I drive, can't get my leg over the cross bar to ride my bike etc so for starters I'd be happy just to get some flexibility back. Sound like a lot of people suffer as well on this forum so thanks for the advice. 

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Have you tried cortisone injections ? My wife has them in her feet every 3 months & yesterday had on in her knee ,all for arthritic pain.

The thing is with arthritis it can move about & you find it affecting different parts of your body & a flare up can even be very debilitating . You can even get it in your head.

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A few years back I had keyhole surgery for a detached cartilage. The surgeon said that the inside of the knee was one of the best early indicators for arthritis and because mine was perfectly clean, he said I should never suffer from arthritis.

I’d cross my fingers that that would be true (if I could). :)

 

Bill 😊

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1 hour ago, Observer II said:

Tried it Dave, in my knee - total waste of time - sooner use cool spray.

Her's is still settling down at the minute but it has been very successful in her feet ,elbow & shoulder over the years.

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8 hours ago, Davy51 said:

Have you tried cortisone injections ? My wife has them in her feet every 3 months & yesterday had on in her knee ,all for arthritic pain.

The thing is with arthritis it can move about & you find it affecting different parts of your body & a flare up can even be very debilitating . You can even get it in your head.

No but looking at the hips and ball joint it's just bone on bone with bits of bone floating around - The left has completely gone and the right has all but gone - it has started to progress up the spine not far from where I get back spasms - I'm very careful not to aggravate that old gardening injury as it cripples me - sound like an old moaning man which I am :-) 

Regards to your wife - I hope the treatment is working or at least giving some relief.

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It's a pain in the ass ain't it ?  Forgive the pun.   Sounds like hip replacement time Geoff.  The injections give some relief, but only for about six weeks and they too have their own degenerative problems.  If you are down to bone on bone, the only remedy is replacement - sez I who is scared to death of it!   I will be passing thru Heathrow this Spring and because of the long immigration time, for the first time in my life,  because of my hips, Im going to have to use the wheelchair service. 

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On 2/14/2020 at 3:05 PM, Stallard12 said:

It's a pain in the ass ain't it ?  Forgive the pun.   Sounds like hip replacement time Geoff.  The injections give some relief, but only for about six weeks and they too have their own degenerative problems.  If you are down to bone on bone, the only remedy is replacement - sez I who is scared to death of it!   I will be passing thru Heathrow this Spring and because of the long immigration time, for the first time in my life,  because of my hips, Im going to have to use the wheelchair service. 

Good luck - mind you if you had replacement hips you could have fun setting off the alarms :-) I know what you mean I can't stand still for even short times - because it just sets of the pains due to the imbalance. I'm useless getting through customs at the best of time hence the reason why I haven't bothered flying for ages you points this out It looks like my flying days are over and I'll give it a miss and let my family go instead.

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Seems they're working on a new drug, extracted from scorpion venom. which attacks the arthritus in specific joints and doesn't suppress the immune system in the rest of the body.

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