Advice wanted

Talking to others with OA who have had experiences similar to yours can be especially helpfully:


  • before undergoing surgery
  • if none of the pain remedies you've tried has brought relief
  • if you are looking for a good doctor 


When you post a message under the Advice Wanted category, your question will be read by thousands of others who have OA.  We'll send you a thank you note when we receive your message, and when someone responds, we'll forward you the reply, keeping your e-mail address confidential to ensure your privacy.  

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Advice wanted category


    Has anyone else out there had triple arthrodesis followed by an ankle fusion?


    I am having a lot of neck pain caused by bone spurs. No analgesics work. I am waiting for an injection of cortisone but have been told that this does not always work. For the last six weeks, I have been taking 10 supplements ordered by a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. This has had no effect.

    Other suggestions include putting me on Cortisol (even though I have osteoarthritis) or giving me an injection to deaden the nerve.

    Do I have any other options to reduce my pain? I welcome any suggestions or help from anyone who has had this condition.



    Hi All,

    I was diagnosed in my 20's with OA in my left hip. Now I'm 46 and it is in all my joints. I've had over 10 surgeries with probably many more in my future. Just curious, is there anyone else out there like me? And how do you deal with life? My husband is great support, I work as a 911 dispatcher for my town and my husband is a captain there. I have a balance dog who helps me out with balance obviously and helping me up when I fall. Lately I'm finding it harder and harder to be happy and enjoy. I find myself thinking of the future and being a burden. I know it won't be like that (I hope!) but the depression is starting to creep in. I look fairly healthy, except for all my scars and I waddle like a penguin. So a lot of people don't know or understand. What do you all do to keep a good outlook on a bleak future with lots more surgeries?


    Thank you very much!



    I have had severe arthritis for 10 years. My fingers are swollen and bent as well as my toes. My grandchildren became concerned that my hands do not look like theirs. I decided to write a book about arthritis explaining it in a gentle way to young children. I used my own hands as the model for my illustrations. As an elementary teacher of 32 years, I realize that young children are constantly seeking answers for things that happen in the world around them. The book is geared toward children ages 4-8. The pictures are very colorful and show that grandma has arthritis but never gives up doing the things she loves to do with the children. I tour schools and libraries with my book and teach about arthritis. This has proven to be a very nice experience for both myself and the children. They compare their hands with mine and learn about the joints and how they affected with this disease. The most interesting memory I have had so far is taking a child's hand who is legally blind and having him feel the disfigured joints on my hands so he could experience the same meaning of the book that his classmates experienced. Yesterday I conducted a presentaition for arthritis using my book to a group of retired businessmen ages 70 to 101. I was wondering if there is any way you could use this book if I send you one- either as an article or to purchase several copies to distribute them. I am presently going to an arthritis specialist who has been treating me with Humira. It seems to stop any further progression at this time. My grandmother was a pioneer in finding a cure for arthritis. She was featured in several medical journals and experimented with arthritis drugs as well as having one of the first kneecap replacements. This book is dedicated to her. She was an amazing person and taught me the message I used in this book-Never give up your dreams or let anything stand in your way to try to accomplish them. My book is a published book. It is a softcover book but can be purchased from the book company as a hardcover. I purchased several from the book company and sell them at my discount price so everyone can afford to purchase them. I take them to my presentations and have been very successful selling them. I hope you will be interested in looking at my book and can find a place where it will help grandparents and parents to explain this progressive disease to their little ones. It has provided a sense of comfort to my children when they read the book. They are also proud that their grandma is actually a published author and illustrator. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I will be anxious to hear from you. Sincerely, Barbara Antesberger I would greatly appreciate it if you would direct this message to the appropriate person. I did not know who to send it directly to. Thank you for your kind cooperation. As a grandmother suffering with arthritis, I would like to share my book with other grandmothers to use as a resource.


    I broke the tibia and fibula and possibly the ankle and tore the ligaments 40 years ago by falling on a ladder with my right leg between the rungs. After many months of recovery, I had no problems of significance until about 10 years ago when I saw a podiatrist because of pain in the ankle, and received a cortisone shot, and about yearly until 1 1/2 years ago when was told I was "bone on bone" and prescribed a brace, which didn't help much. I had therapy, was prescribed Celebrex 200 mg once a day, and have been doing ankle exercises at the gym since, and the pain and swelling is generally under control. I was told by the therapist to use the bicycle at the gym and not the treadmill, so I stopped going for walks (except short ones including going to stores etc.)


    Is this correct advice, or may I continue going for longer walks without doing further damage. I am 80 years old and what are the chances I won't get to the point of needing fusion? I don't get an answer from local surgeons.


    Kindly guide me about role of heel wedge in management of oa knees


    I am a Nurse Practitioner with patients that have taken NSAID's with good success for many years, however with the recent concerns over the cardiovascular complications associated with these drugs I am reluctant to continue them. My patients would very likely be at heightened anxiety and stress levels at the suggestion that they be changed to, for instance, Tylenol. What advice would you give? Should the NSAID's be continued in patient's with HTN but not overt CVD?


    I am a 60 year old woman who was recently diagnosed with right knee osteoarthritis. I have always lived an active life, Have done yoga for over 20 years and was certified to teach two years ago. I play tennis but stopped around five years ago due to divorce and pressures of reskilling for a new career. I have never had any serious illnesses, there is no history of arthritis in my family and my only surgery was a right foot, large toe bunionectomy in 2003 which has never given me a problem since.

    Pain, stiffness, inflammation and inability to run came on quite suddenly @ five months ago. I must admit I had become somewhat inactive and gained 20 lbs during this period because I was studying & taking courses to become a massage therapist.

    The x-ray by the orthopedist showed medial compartment, almost bone-on-bone arthritis; bloodwork ruled out rheumatoid arthritis, an MRI showed surgery could not only be done in the medial compartment. My doctor has given me 2 cortisoid knee shots to lessen pain & it has helped. . I have started exercising again and it has helped a great deal, along with dieting. However, I still cannot run, not as in jogging, but even to chase a small child or play with my dog. The doctor says I will never be able to do so again. Although he did not recommend surgery, I thought I could get knee replacement and increase the kinds of activities, especially hiking, some lite running around the yard for fun, perhaps doubles tennis. When the doctor told me the surgery would not make that much difference, I decided to do some research myself. In effect, my x-ray showed my tibia to be bow-legged and I read about high-tibia osteotomy surgery. It sounds like it could be a good solution for me except that it is usually done on younger people. My doctor said he does not perform them, they are often ineffective, and out of date. My question is: Are osteotomies still being done, are they successful, and could I be a candidate?


    I was just diagnosed as needing an operation to remove C5/6 in my neck due to arthritis and a bone spur pressing on my nerve causing numbness in my arms and hands. Also a major itch in my upper arm that is horrible.


    I want to know what the best way is to treat this...operation to remove disk or laser to remove the bone spur.


    AAS article regarding total knee replacement cautioned not to overdo exercise after surgery. Are spinning classes safe? I take one a week plus two aerobics classes and two days of 1 hour on various exercise machines. I had a very successful total (female) knee replacement two and a half months ago and my physician said to stay active.


    I'm looking for a "good" total knee replacement surgeon in the Portland area. I had a TKR in August (north of Seattle area) that has been a nightmare, I made the mistake of not researching the doctor/hospital well enough. I have been trying to research for the last month, online and word of mouth, to find a competent surgeon, with a good solid record and minimal mistakes. The surgeon who operated on me, made a horrible mess to put it politely and I now have permanent severe nerve damage throughout entire leg and the knee needs to be scoped to clean it up and more likely totally revised. The surgeons I have contacted so far have looked at the OR report and x-rays and will not see me, I have heard through the grapevine "they didn't want to get 'involved"". So now as a patient I have to sort through the maze of surgeons who would rather protect each other than care for a patient, very sad and maddening too. I am confident there are competent and caring surgeons out there in my area, and I hope someone can recommend one or more in the Portland Oregon area. Thank you.


    Has anyone found relief for lumbar pain from an inversion table ?


    What type of tests are done to show you if you have osteoarthritis in your neck or spine?


    I am a 53 yr old woman. I have severe neck pain, everyday is an effort to get up, I have Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. I have consulted 3 surgeons getting their opinions, done physical therapy, chiropractic, heat & cold compresses, TENS unit, several epidurals & nerve blocks, home traction unit, weight loss. Nothing seems to help relieve the pain or even dull it. The doctors only answer is take 4-6 percocets a day, surgery is not an option, there has to be another way, but what is it??? Does anyone have any suggestions to what might be working?. My quality of life is down the tubes.


    I had both knees replaced approximately 10 years ago and I want to know if working out on an eliptical machine is bad for them. If so, what machines are good for them?





    I am engaged to a man who was born with arthrogryposis (or "Arthrogryposis multiplex congenita") - a condition so rare that I have not been able to find any information about it in books or online.


    I would like to understand his condition more fully and am curious to know how rare this condition actually is. His father also has arthrogryposis, although to a lesser extent, but his younger brother does not.


    I would appreciate any information you are able to provide and/or any suggestions you may have on where to look for information.


    Thank you -




    Hi, my name is Kelli, and I'm 26 years old. I have been just diagnosed with Osteoarthritis (OA). Is there anyone else out there who is as young as me with OA? If so, what types of meds do you use or how do you deal with the pain? My worst spot is in my ankles... weird huh... but, its all over my body. I could use ANY information on OA and how everyone deals with the pain, what works and what doesn't, and whether anyone has spasms of pain like me. Thanks ahead of time for any information you may send my way. God bless,



    Greetings Arthritis Society. I am an Occupational Therapist who

    graduated a couple of years ago. I know you will shutter at simplicity of my question, but I have to ask...


    I have a referral for a client who has bilateral RA and requires "hand strengthening". I just started a job at an outpatient clinic where I am the only OT and my last job was all ADLs. I am afraid in my ignorance I may flare up a joint or cause pain by doing the wrong thing in either my assessment or treatment through putting too much stress on a joint(s). I have not done the evaluation or met the person yet.


    The arthritis society came to my unversity, but I graduated 2

    years ago, however, in all honesty, do not recall much. My Pedretti OT text was not overly helpful when I reviewed it for specifics, just more defined what is RA . Any helpful suggestions from any therapists there for evaluation and strengthening ideas?


    I thought for strengthening to use the lightest putty, and using lots of reps, versus harder putty and less reps. Aside from that, I am a bit stymied. Definitely joint education and also check for carpal

    tunnel, but as for the actual eval and strengthening activities I am at a loss.


    Thank you a tonne! I left where I was because ADLs was

    not challenging, and I am hoping in a few months I will be in better shape knowledge wise here too and something like this will not leave me feeling like a fish out of water!

    Michelle --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    "Hand Strengthening" is a term often used by some non-orthopaedic physicians. However, it underestimates a bit the professional expertise involved in physical therapy (PT) and how much it differs from occupational therapy (OT).


    A good idea would be to refer your Rheumatoid Arthritis patient to a PT and avoid any risk for the patient. Afterwards and as soon as the patient is ready for real occupational therapy (OT), he or she will gladly return for your important work.



    Your American Arthritis Society.)


    Which total hip replacement and revision center in Germany would you recommend? A couple of surgeons' names would be very helpfull. Thank you.


    T. Reskallah, M.D.


    Does anyone have any input on EZorb calcium, positively and negatively, for OA of the hip? The pain is not as intense or persistent as it once was, resulting from the anti-inflammatory meds that I take. However, the limited movement in my legs from spurs around the hip joint and discomfort in my lower back after sitting for a while are the main problems. My doctor has advised 3 options: 1) continue meds as long as possible; 2) cortisone injection; 3) hip replacement surgery. I have heard about and read some info on EZorb calcium and would welcome any advice on its use or advice that improved mobility from anyone who is/has been in a similar situation. I thank you in advance and wish you well.


    I am suffering from severe back pain for some time. I can only lay down for 4 to 6 hours each night. When I come home from working 12 hour shifts and fall asleep on the couch I have to sit on the side of my bed for 30 minutes before I can lay back down. My doctor made an x-ray and diagnosed spondylosis and arthritis in my back. My legs also started giving me a lot of trouble. I cannot go out and work outside without having to come back in and sit down. My legs hurt and feel heavy. After I sit for a little while I try to get up and feel so stiff that I nearly cannot walk. I have also two torn menisci in my knees. I am 55 years old and tired of the pain and of not being able to do what I want to do. I never sleep well anymore. Please could someone offer some advice?


    I want to learn more about spinal fusion and would like to have contact to other spinal fusion patients. Thank you very much for writing!


    I have had severe pain radiating down my right arm for 5 weeks. Yesterday my MRI showed bulging discs at every level and at C5/6 a spinal stenosis with significant narrowing of the foramen. I am going to a spine center specialist on Monday. What questions should I ask him? What kind of treatment can I expect? I have been going to PT for a month without significant relief. Thank you.


    I had a ceramic joint replacement in my right hand thumb in oct 2008 and am due for the other hand when the right can handle the load. I am 49 yrs of age and really having a hard time getting this to heal. Constant pain and very little motion on the replaced hand. I have noticed that there is no mention of this proceedure. My Dr/Surgeon is a hand specialist in St. Louis, Mo. I have been on several anti-inflams., but they upset my stomach. Is there anyone out there who is suffering the same after having joint replacement using ceramic? I'm young yet, and have a lot of things to do. Thank you,


    In my teenage and young years, I suffered from mild hip discomfort and episodic back pain which was acute but usually recovered within 2-3 weeks. Since 1997 (age 27), I've suffered from daily constant pain with no relief from any medical treatments.


    Initially, I was diagnosed with a disc herniation which later became degenerative disc disease in my lumbar and thoracic spine. I had some benefit from water therapy but then injured myself lifting weights during a total rehabilitation program at the Spine Institute of New England. Since this time, I have suffered from sciatica in my legs and feet with pain, numbness, and tingling sensations. I did try a less invasive alternative to a fusion called the IDET procedure in 2002 which was only partially beneficial. After this procedure, I was officially diagnosed with hip arthritis as well. Since this time, my degenerative disc disease has progressed to the point that I am no longer able to maintain any form of employment.


    I have multiple chemical sensitivities and do not tolerate pain medications like Ultram or . However, I have been able to take the maximum dose of Celebrex which is an anti-inflammatory. Celebrex does not take away the pain, but it does help me get out of bed and move around the house. I've been taking this medicine for 7 years now. And I modify my life style by staying home, shifting positions frequently throughout my day, and resting whenever I need to. Being homebound is causing me to suffer from depression.


    I recently asked about the artificial disc which has become available in the US but was told by UCSD Orthopedics in La Jolla CA that I am not a good candidate for any surgery because I have degeneration at multiple levels (3 levels in lower back & 3 levels in upper back). I was also declined for minimally invasive surgery. Perhaps I am limited because I have Medi-Cal managed Community Health Group insurance. Public insurance generally dose not cover new procedures or other alternative medicines which might be considered holistic. Nutrition counseling, osteopathic medicines, & traditional Chinese medicines have all worked in the past, but I can no longer afford them. The new thing now is decompression therapy which is suppose to cure people with my type of disc disease without the use of injections, medications, or surgery. I would do this if I could afford it, but I literally have no earned income. I only have a small amounnt of child support and an SSI disability case pending before an administrative law judge.


    As far as treatment is concerned, I don’t think I have any good choices. And I am concerned that the Celebrex I am taking is making my arthritis worse. I read somewhere that while Celebrex reduces inflammation, it also interferes with the synthesis of new cartilage thereby causing further progression of arthritis with long term use. This year, I have noticed that my knees and wrists are hurting when they never used to hurt before. So, my condition is progressing. I'm a 38 yr old single mother with financial hardships, and I haven't been able to work or take care of myself because I hurt all over. I just wish there was something I could do to recover to a point where I could function again. Any suggestions?


    I had a total knee replacement 8 years ago. At first all was ok. Then it started to hurt. I did all the excercises and my therapist said I had excellent movement. In Aug, 2000, I had arthroscopy on the same knee and that helped for about 3 mos. Then in Jan. 2002 I had a partial repair/replacement (change the knee cap and material it was made of). The pain has continued. I also was tested for an allergic reaction to the implant of which there was none. Then in Sept. of 2004 I had all removed and had a completely new knee replacement. At first it was ok. Now, I am barely able to get around as the knee hurts all the time. My left knee is now needing attention, too, but I am reluctant to do anything. I am 73 years old and do not want to be confined because of a knee replacement. Can anyone help with this???


    Thanking you in advance.








    My mother is 96 years old and has arthritis in her hands, back & feet. Has anyone experienced relief from arthritic gloves? If so - which kind?


    To enter my building at work I have a choice of climbing 32 stairs or ascending a very long, steep incline - and the reverse when leaving. I know neither methods are ideal, but wondering which is going to be best on my knees in the long run? I don't feel the pain on the incline that I do when using the stairs, but am I causing more pressure to hit my knees when going down the ramp?


    Please let me know what you may have experienced when having to choose between stairs or inclines.




    What can I do for constant pain everywhere? I cannot take my anti-inflamation prescription because of anemia. I use rubs, glucosamine and I recently saw a specialist who just gave me a

    pain med. I would appreciate some suggestions. I feel like I'm at the end of my rope here.



    Hello everyone,


    Recently diagnosed with bad arthritis in left knee. Am in pain that NSAID treatment does not seem to be touching. I have heard that fish oil caplets three times a day can be effective. Anyone know of any research on this? Or personal experience?




    Peter L.


    Has anyone heard information that certain foods aggravate osteoarthritic conditions?? please email me if you have. Thanks in advance! --


    I have osteoarthritis at the base of my thumb in the palm of my hand. It's so-o painful that even working on a computer keyboard is very painful. I'm currently in Physical Therapy for my knees and working every day on my own - which is helpful, although I still have pain. Both conditions have taken away much from my active, athletic life!


    I have just recently been diagnosed with OA. It is mostly in my knee. It is evidenced both by pain and the bony outgrowth.


    I am active in tennis and am planning on trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal in about 5 weeks. This will be my second time trekking to Base Camp. The last time was about 2 years ago. The OA has only recently made itself known.


    Am I likely to do additional damage to my knee or is pain the only issue. The trek is on a trail most of the time but it is uphill and downhill, covering about 30 miles over 15 days, including rest days along the trail.


    I need a quick response as you can see.


    Thanks for any help in this.


    I'm trying to find a warm water pool near me that is under the auspices of the Arthritis Assoc. or Society. I live in northeastern CT and am not far from the MA border. Does anyone know of such a place? Thanks! M E Cassinari


    I've been managing pain for 17 years with my lower back. In the last few years I've developed arthritis in my knees, hip and right hand. My hand bothers me the most. It acts up when I'm doing anything with my hands. A couple of months ago, my cousin told me about a product called ASEA. I've been taking it for over two months now and I really can't believe the difference. I take pain meds constantly and am worried about what they are doing to my body. If I can cut down on them or even stop taking them, I would be elated. Since I've been taking ASEA, I've been able to cut down on my pain meds by one third. I have more energy, I feel healthier and more mentally alert and I am sleeping better than I have in years.

    I am so excited about what ASEA is doing for people that I joined the company. This product is giving me back my quality of life and I can't think of a better life purpose than to share this product with people who are suffering and increase their quality of life also. The company is so excited about the results that people are getting with this new product that they offer an unconditional, empty bottle, 30-day money back guarantee.

    For more info on ASEA, go to


    Wishing you great health!

    Wendy Hewlett

    Independent ASEA Associate