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Posted by Julie on December 15, 1999 at 04:26:48:

In Reply to: unknown arthritis type posted by Moira on November 02, 1999 at 00:09:44:

: This is the first time I have discovered this site...I am 19 years old, and have developed some unusal type of inflamatory arthritis over the past three years.
: It started as a mild swelling, one ankle joint, no pain...I eventually saw an orthapaedic surgeon (as it progressed to being painful at times and had not responded to physio), he did not establish that I had arthritis and in July 1998 performed an arthroscopy and debridement.
: From that point onwards I've had extreme swelling, and pain...I have only recently been able to get around without a crutch most of the time. I saw a rhuematologist, who put me on Salazypirin (a sulphur compound), which I recently had to stop because of a reaction in my white cell count. We have done steroid injections into the joint, and the tendons. I had a brace which only reduced the movement, so I have opted not to use it anymore.
: I have been on methotrexate since March...no great improvement. They have told me it's not rhuematoid arthritis, but that it's most likely some kind of reactive arthritis, or spondilo-arthritis?..........I may be able to help you my name is Julie I am 29 years old,and my early experience with my disease was very similar to yours.For many years my symptoms were only in my dominant hand.This made it difficult for doctors to diagnose.I was misdiagnosed for 6 years. In order to recieve the proper diagnosis I had to under go a surgical biopsy.During this proceedure they surgically removed the fluid in my wrist and took tissue samples of 2 of my joints and the surrounding tendon.The samples were then sent to the hospital lab were they looked at the tissue under a microscope.Unfortunately, it (the tissue)looked most like the tissue of a rheumatoid arthritis patient. My surgeon delivered the bad news and basically said,"you have rheumatoid arthritis."Even after my rheumatologist insisted on my having the biopsy,he failed to diagnose me with anything once he got the biopsy.One week after my surgery I started to develop symptoms in my other hand.Still my rheumatoligist refused to diagnose me,so I went to another rheumatologist.My current rheumatologist does lots of work with the arthritis foundation.A few weeks ago I finally was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and was started on Methotrexate.I had to begin Methtrexate because steroids,anti-inflammatories,physical therapy,and splinting failed to help. It took me one year of going from doctor to doctor before I recieved a diagnosis. Nine doctors later I finally have the answer to the great riddle.And this diagnosis makes sense.I hope your road to a diagnosis will not be as difficult as mine has been.I Would encourage you to continue in your struggle to recieve a diagnosis, because a correct diagnosis is critical for proper treatment.There are many types of arthritis and the treatment is different depending on what type you have.Infammatory types of arthritis include:Rheumatoid arthritis,Reiter's syndrome,Psoric arthritis,Ankylosing spondylitis,Regional enteritis,Gout and Pseudogout.I would suggest you go on the internet and look up the different types of inflammatory types of arthritis to become familar with them this will assist you and possibly your new doctor with solving your particular puzzle.A final note, I find it particularly interesting that your doctor has been putting you on medications that are commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis,yet he (or she) says he does not suspect it.Drug therapy for Psoriatic Arthritis is similar to that of Rheumatoid Arthritis but none of the drugs you mentioned are used to treat Ankylosing sponylitis.At least not to my knowledge.You need to ask a rheumatologist(probably a different one than you have ) about the various meds you have been on.You need to know what they treat.This will give you a better idea about what the doctors are thinking.I hope this is helpful.It took me two and a half hours to type,because I can't type a lick (it's an old saying in case you never heard of it!)What I am trying to say is,I took the time because I wanted to make a difference.Good Luck! You can email me if you would like.My email address is juliezzz@aol.com

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