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Old 01-05-2010, 07:11 PM   #1
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Question Info on rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

I would like to hear from people who have experienced really rapid onset osteoarthritis, what they were told by their Dr's, etc. I haven't found much info on this and it scares the heck out of me.

I am getting so sore in the evenings and at times it's getting so hard to get around. Last night I was using 2 canes to stop my legs from giving out from the shooting pain when I applied pressure on my feet. I do try and pace my day and today did much better, but sometimes a busy day just happens and I overdo it. Also if I stand too long, I get really, really sore... I lean up against the counters when cooking, etc and that seems to help.. riding in the car really hurts as does shopping.

I am a middle aged woman of normal weight and my right hip went from mild spurring with reserved joint space to severe advanced osteo in the period of one year. My left hip is starting to really ache alot too and the groin pain also is running down the inner thigh of the left leg and at times the outside of my leg also hurts. I am on the waiting list for a new hip on the right side. I honestly didn't know I had bad hips as my Dr. was adamant that the pain was coming from my back, so I went to physio on my own and he sent my Dr. a letter requesting an xray be done and lo and behold.. the Dr.'s office calls me and the Dr. comes into the room and bluntly states.. You need a new hip!!
I asked how it could go from OK to severe in such a short time and all he said was, "once they start to go, they go fast".. hmmm... I wasn't impressed. I have found a new GP, but that doesn't change the waiting factor.

I am also getting lumpy bumpy fingers and bumps on my feet (hard bumps, close to the ankle bone and one is getting close to the size of the ankle bone).. It doesn't hurt though, but the bumps on my fingers do.

My spine is arthritic also, but doesn't hurt as much as the hips. I worry that may "go quickly" also.

Any insights would be most appreciated and thanks for reading my story.. I guess I've been feeling a bit down lately with the left hip joining in on the pain...

Thomasinaa

 
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:57 AM   #2
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Re: Info on rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

Hi, I am sorry to hear what you are going through. I am surprised your doc did not refer you to an arthritis doctor. Can you get to a doctor who specializes in this? There are many different types of arthritis, and the treatment depends on the type and the cause of it. I have osteo and am middle age also so I do alot of research on my own condition but I do not know anything about rapid onset of osteo. Have you had any blood tests to make sure this is the type of arthritis you have and if your body is lacking in any needed nutrients? I have heard going through menopause can worsen osteo but there are medications to help slow this. I would see a specialist so you can get the proper diagnosis, the cause of the rapid onset, and then you can get the proper treatment.

 
Old 01-06-2010, 07:00 AM   #3
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Re: Info on rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

Hello Kasey443

My old GP sent me to see a Rheumatologist many years back and he diagnosed Fibromylagia at that time and then a follow up visit a couple of years later, same thing, so he put me into the Fibro/depression category and that's what he treated over the years. My spine has been degenerative for years also and I did see a Neurologist 3 years ago, again, nothing came of this visit as my spine is not degenerated enough for surgery.
So, I am booked to see an Orthopedic surgeon in early April and will take it from there.
It's frustrating not being able to get into see specialists without a long wait. I will ask about blood work next visit with my family GP. I do have a chronic low white count and no one has ever been able to tell me why. It stays in the 2.0 to 3.0 range and has for the past 20 years.
Thanks so much for your suggestions and support.
Thomasinaa

 
Old 01-06-2010, 08:10 AM   #4
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Re: Info on rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

Hi again, I wonder if they call it fibro when they can't find the cause and that would put anybody into a depression. I'm glad atleast you have an appt. coming up with an ortho. It is frustrating to have to see dif. docs for different things all the time. If they can find the cause of the rapid osteo. and low white blood count, that would help tremendously to know how to help you. You could ask the ortho about your blood count, and tell him you would like to know the cause, and also the cause of the rapid osteo. The more docs you see the better the chances of finding the cause and treatment! It is frustrating to have to see dif docs when many times all these symptoms are connected. I have seen orthos, neuros, internal med. doc, had surgery on my back, and was told I need to see a certain doc for the bone spur in my neck as the ortho I saw doesnt do necks. Yet all the problems I have are all connected to my DDD and arthritis and worse with more symptoms from this cold weather. I should see an arthritis doc myself but need a break from docs. I was at doc last week twice already, one for arthritis in basal joint of my thumb, next was for pain in rib cage which they said was coschondritis, common in people with arthritis, and is an inflammation of the rib cage? Probably from shoveling. I have way more problems since winter got here. Does the weather affect you?

 
Old 01-06-2010, 10:57 AM   #5
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Re: Info on rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

Hi Kasey443
It sure sounds like you have had lots of run arounds with Dr.'s also. I have never heard of coscondritis, and am sure learning alot from reading these boards.

I am kind of wondering what the ortho will have to say about my low white count. I asked the GP, but he said it probably won't affect being able to have the hip surgery, but it drives me crazy not knowing why. Having to see so many different types of Doctors is frustrating and especially so when they don't shed much light on the problem!

I am not bothered too much by the weather where I live now, but when in Northern BC, I had to really bundle up to ward off the long winters. I find summers actually more difficult as there is the outside work in addition to the inside work and all the bending really hurts. I've let go most of my bigger flower beds and am down scaling each year.. soon I'll only have a few perennial areas left.
Thanks again for your support. It really helps. Thomasinaa

 
Old 01-06-2010, 01:02 PM   #6
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Re: Rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

It seems there are similarities in our situations. Last October, I went from occasional, mild and short-lived arthritis symptoms to almost incapacitating pain and stiffness in almost all my joints (with the exception of shoulders and elbows) overnight. It seemed to be brought on by a sudden change from unseasonably mild weather, to minus 16 C.

My rheumatoid factor test was negative. But due to a positive HLA B27 test, and the "bilateral" nature of my pain and stiffness, my GP suspected RA. I had a bone scan at the end of November on a day I was feeling comparatively well, and it apparently showed little inflammation. It did; however, show damage in every joint in my entire body, including a degenerating spine.

I saw a rheumatologist a few days ago, and he diagnosed Osteoarthritis and widespread soft tissue pain. I believe he said my anti-CPP test was elevated, but not to the degree that would indicate RA (at least not yet). He did say I have a much increased chance of developing RA in the future.

The rheumatologist spoke extremely quickly, and used many acronyms for test results that meant very little to me. Unfortunately, I was so overwhelmed by his rapid-fire questions and responses, it wasn't until the appointment was over that I thought of questions to ask him. I'm hoping to get more information from my GP tomorrow.

I can totally understand your confusion regarding the rapid onset of OA, because I feel the same way. If OA is supposed to be caused by "wear and tear", how could I go from few problems to extreme pain and some functional limitations overnight. And why, for example, are my baby and ring fingers affected most, and my thumbs not at all, when my thumbs have been used more intensely?

My biggest problem these days is that my hands and feet are often numb, cold and tingling, and sometimes hot with stabbing pains. I originally thought these sensations were associated with inflammation. Now, they seem more nerve related (actually, what I'm experiencing seems exactly the same as described for peripheral neuropathy).

I'm really wondering if the timing of my bone scan and blood work (during a period of partial remission, perhaps, rather than during the severe flare-up that took me to my GP in the first place) might have contributed to the rheumatologist's diagnosis. Also, the day before I saw him, my hands were extremely red and swollen (so much so that I couldn't get my rings on). The day I saw him, they looked relatively normal.

The rheumatologist asked if my joint problems were keeping me from any activities, and my answer was "no, just making the activities less comfortable". I did mention I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (severe enough to be on long-term disability). Unless he knows how much this condition affects one's function, he wouldn't realize I already have a lifestyle more consistent with someone in their '80's, rather than middle aged. The joint problems would be affecting my activities, if my function wasn't already significantly impaired as a result of the CFS.

With the exception of your severely damaged hip, you described how I feel almost exactly -- worse in the evenings, really sore from standing, sore and lumpy/bumpy fingers and feet (bumps have appeared in less than two months). I hope you get some answers, Tomasinaa. I can certainly understand your feeing down. I'm feeling like a "deer in the headlights" these days. After menopause, the number of additional things that have gone wrong for me are alarming.

 
Old 01-06-2010, 07:06 PM   #7
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Re: Rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

Hello Sensitivo
Yes, I can certainly see similarities in our symptoms. My baby fingers and ring fingers are also affected, but not my thumbs.. the baby fingers just joined in. My fingers swell also and I can't get my rings on or off at times.
The hot and cold feet.. similar.. sometimes they are burning hot and red, and other times pure white and sooooo cold and really hard to warm up.

I can really relate to the chronic fatigue as it has been with me for most of my adult life and my diagnosis for that has always been fibromyalgia/depression. I too am on long term disablility. Working in an office environment was really doing me in and sitting all day was so painful. I had to pack it all in about 4 years ago. Now that I am a couple of years post menopause, it seems that I too am getting worse and yes it is scary. I too live like an 80 plus year old, actually, I think alot of seniors are way more active than I am. I really have trouble getting through a day without lying down for 1 - 2 hours each afternoon and if I miss this down time, I pay for it at night..really sore, extra tired and the crankies set in. I do have a very understanding husband which helps me so much. Without his support, this would be so much more difficult.

These boards help with questions to ask the Dr.'s and I appreciate hearing your story. It's not easy to feel the way we do. I've become so isolated with this illness over the years and people have trouble understanding why you can't do this or that and after awhile quit asking about how things are, etc. It's nice to find folks who understand.

Thanks for your support and I look forward to following your story also.
Thomasinaa

 
Old 01-14-2010, 09:50 AM   #8
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Re: Info on rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

At the risk of being a harbinger of bad news.... I saw a consultant recently about pain in my hips and he showed me an x-ray of my spine. Pain in the hips apparently is usually caused by arthritis in the lower spine. Hips tend to cause referred pain lower down, typically in the knees. I have generalised osteoarthritis diagnosed some thirteen years ago. In so far as I can find a decent condition description typically this starts spontaneously. I have to say that my symtoms don't comletely coincide with any of the condition descriptions I have so far found. I hope somebody can throw some light on your condition. Living with arthritis is literally a pain!

 
Old 01-14-2010, 02:42 PM   #9
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Re: Info on rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

Hi KLD
Not to worry about bad news. I do have osteo in my lower spine and my neck area. I've had CT scans that confirm this. My Doctor was adamant that the pain was coming from my spine, but the physio fellow examined my hips and ordered an Xray, which showed severe advanced osteo. My pain pattern was groin and inner thigh, down to the knees and sometimes down the outside of the leg, right to the foot.

What is generalized osteoarthritis? You say it starts spontaneously..is there something that triggers it, like stress?

I hope you find relief also. I am able to control a good portion of the pain with Celebrex and Lyrica, but the fatigue has always remained no matter what I do or take.

Regards, Thomasinaa

 
Old 01-20-2010, 10:22 AM   #10
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Re: Info on rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

Hi Thomasinaa,
I still have you in the back of my mind as I search for information on arthritis. Yesterday I stumbled upon a reference to "spontaneous arthritis" in the medicinenet.com website. It didn't provide much information, but did mention that severe osteoarthritis symptoms can come on suddenly, and that when this happens, it is a genetic illness. Do other members of your family have arthritis? In my case, both parents and my sister were/are affected?

An internet search of "spontaneous arthritis" uncovers many recent research studies on mice and guinea pigs, but virtually nothing related to humans. I did find a one-page introduction to a book called "The Many Faces of Osteoarthritis" which states that advances in laboratory and clinical research have made it clear that osteoarthritis is not the result of mechanical wear and tear over time, but rather, a complex biological and mechanical disorder that leads to joint degeneration.

Unfortunately, this knowledge doesn't help either of us know what to do with our rapidly deteriorating bodies. Currently, I'm looking into whether or not trigger points are a factor in my case. By really working on the large bump of what feels like connective tissue on the outside of my left ankle, I can restore proper function in that foot, at least for a while. I'm also thinking of seeing a naturopath to get a different perspective. I'll let you know if she has any worthwhile suggestions.

Regards, Sensitivo

 
Old 01-20-2010, 07:20 PM   #11
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Re: Info on rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

Hi Sensitivo
Thankyou so much for keeping me in mind. The information you have uncovered sounds most interesting and I'll do a google search to see what you've found. I am the only person in my immediate family to have arthritis to the degree I have it and I am the youngest of 4 sibblings. My brother, sister and 85 year old Mom have osteo in their hands and that's about it. Mom still moves around pretty good for her age.. My physio mentioned that mine could be hereditary, so maybe somewhere way back, this condition was present.

I have a book on trigger point massage and find it quite useful, although it's hard to reach those knots in my back area by myself.

Please do keep me posted. It's wonderful to hear others perspectives on our conditions.

Regards, Thomasinaa

 
Old 02-01-2010, 09:18 PM   #12
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Re: Rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

You have described my symptoms almost to a T. I have an Internal Med Dr. whom I believe doesn't really understand how badly I hurt. I am chronically fatigued, but how do you get a chronic fatigue diagnosis? I am certain that I will not be able to work again, at least not in the near future due to chronic pain and fatigue. So how do I get this diagnosis so that I can have an income? I hope you can help me. Thanks for posting and I hope you are feeling better.

 
Old 02-02-2010, 10:57 AM   #13
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Re: Info on rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

Hi Hipy AtHrt

The chronic fatigue in my case is not a diagnosis per say....it is a symptom of other conditons. I have Fibromyalgia and Osteo Arthritis diagnosis's. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia almost 20 years ago and have had a Rheumatologist give me this diagnosis and have seem him a few time over the years. The GP's look after my medications and for me sleep disturbance, muscle aches and fatigue are the biggest factors. I'm sure the osteo wears me out also, as it's so tiring just trying to get around to do my day to day chores. I've had the osteo for a couple of years now. In my spine and now my hips.

When I first started getting ill, I had a really hard time getting through my work day and I was an office worker. I had little energy left over by Friday and found it hard to get all my household chores dealt with before another work week started. This went on for about 15 years until I finally fell apart and major depression set in. It was at that point I applied for disability and had to fill out tons of forms, see my Dr's, get their input and reports, signatures etc.. it took alot of work and time. By the time I finally did get approved, they had to back pay me for a year. I had to learn to live on alot less, but it's been worth it for me. I am able to function better now, but still have the awful fatigue and muscle aches that never go away. I do live a very quiet life and do basically nothing other than watch a bit of TV in the evening, soak in a bath and then off to bed.. Sounds boring,... I'm sure to many it would be... but for me, it's the only way I can cope and keep a smile on my face.

I wish you luck. I know how hard it is to live each and everyday with fatigue and pain. My motto is... just put one foot in front of the other and try to carry on and do rest when you need too!! AND... learning not to feel guilty for needing extra rest is something I had to learn to do.

I hope this helps you.
Thomasinaa

 
Old 02-02-2010, 05:19 PM   #14
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Re: Info on rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

Thomasinaa...thank you so much for your prompt reply and yes, it is helpful. It helps just to be able to talk to someone who understands how frustrating this can be. I was very tired last nite when I posted my message, so I did not give you complete picture of my situation. I am 54 yrs old and I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis at 40 (was told my symptoms were those of a 60yr old). I suffered with moderate fatigue but still managed to work a 32 hr week as an admin assistant until I was diagnosed with breast cancer 07/07. I had 6 rounds of FAC chemo (potent meds) and now I wonder if this didn't trigger the aggression of the arthritis and the severity of the fatigue. My last chemo tx was 01/08 and I lost my health insurance 02/08 and have only recently (a/o 05/09) began getting the medical attention I need. I will soon have a second mastectomy as I am having non-cancerous issues with my other breast. When I applied for SSDI, I was told, even by a soc. sec. attorney, that I was between a rock and a hard spot because I didn't have enough medical dx & tx to convince Soc. Sec. that I am at least temporarily disabled. My problem is that with the fatigue and pain there is no way to know when I could show up for work or if I would even be able to complete a day's worth of work. I guess I will just have to fight the fight...that's if I have the energy to do so. I pray that you are feeling better yourself. Thanks again.

 
Old 02-03-2010, 07:13 AM   #15
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Re: Info on rapid/agressive osteoarthritis

Hi HipyAtHrt

I can certainly empathize with your situation. It floors me that you would have trouble getting any kind of disability. I don't know how your medical system works though. It's quite different here in Canada, where we are all covered under a BC Medical system and pay monthly premiums and have assisted lower payments according to income. This gives us access to specialist with a referral from a family GP.

You have been through an amazing amount for a young woman and I am happy that you are seeking support from others in similar situations. These boards have helped me out alot. Just reading what others go through and how they cope is amazing and makes me not feel so alone with the pain.

I was in the dark regarding just how fast and incapacitating osteo arthritis is and have certainly found out just how common it is in the middle aged sector.

As for your breast cancer, I watched my friend go through that recently, along with the 6 treatments of chemo and she was so sore and tired, but kept on smiling and that helped me out alot also.

I wish you luck in your endevours to get some monetary help from a disability program. It really does take alot of the pressure off and allows time for healing.
Take care
Thomasinaa

 
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