KNEE ARTHRITIS - General principles of managing Osteoarthritis of the knee :
What are my chances? - - Posted by stgiles16 (stgiles16), 3 September 2004
Hey guys, got a question for everyone . First a little back ground. My dad had severe arthritus and two total hip replacements by the time he was 57. He was awaiting knee replacements when he passed away. My mom has severe arthritus in her hands (the kind that turns your hands into claws) and she has it pretty bad in her knees). Now for my question and I realize that I am mostly asking for guesses. With my family history and 5 surgeries total on my legs (ankle and knee) do you guys think that I am likely on the road to arthritus? I would assume so but OS wont even make an educated guess. I know that there is nothing that I can do about it one way or the other but to my thinking, after all of these surgeries, I may have excelerated the inevitable. What do you guys think?
Posted by hmaxwell (Heather M.), 3 September 2004
Everyone gets arthritis, i.e. wears down the layers of articular cartilage coating our bones. That's the way our bodies are created. The two types of arthritis that your parents had are something of a red herring--arthritis in the hands is usually rheumatoid arthritis. It is an auto-immune issue that attacks the articular cartilage predominantly in smaller joints (but not solely there). The hip replacement that your father had is probably related to osteoarthritis--normal wear and tear as we age. Perhaps he had some hyper-mobility in his larger joints like the hips and knees, and this led to a bit of an acceleration of the normal degeneration of the joint.
No one can answer for sure except to say that looking at history and the length of time people are living these days, there is an excellent chance of EVERYONE developing osteoarthritis. Some earlier than others.
The thing is, arthritis is technically just the degeneration of the articular cartilage that makes for frictionless movement of our joints. But not all arthritis is symptomatic. A lot of people show clinical signs of arthritis on x-rays and at surgery, but have little or no pain. So while chances are good that you will develop osteoarthritis if you live long enough, that doesn't necessarily mean that you will be symptomatic.
As for whether you have accelerated the inevitable, the best thing would be to talk to your doctor about the state of your articular cartilage.
Posted by Jules (Jules), 27 September 2004
I didn't ask myself that question and now wish I had, on my dads side there is osteoarthritis, my dad has had two total knee replacements, his mum had them too and Hip replacements, his dad also had two knee replacements, but on my mums side there wasn't anything much.
I'm 38 now, and I seemed to have had it since in my early 20's, but has not been strongly symptomatic until the past 6 years.
Arthritis does run in families but at different degrees and at different ages, you may get it but alot later on and maybe not as severe as your parents.
There are supplements you can take, but you must consult your doctor first before taking anything!!
Try not to worry too much, but if I had know alot sooner then I would have looked into what I could do to try and slow the deterioration down, and thats the advantage you have now.
Hope this helps
Posted by tsanford07 (tsanford07), 19 November 2004
I just read your posting. Despite the fact of your family history of oa you probably will have oa when your older just because you had surgery on knees and ankles...once you have surgery it makes that area weaker...I'm not sure if oa is genetic because I have oa in both knee caps and no one that I know of has it on either side of my family. I am not telling you this discourage you but doctors are not honest about the long term affects of surgery when people have it. I found out the hard way when after surgery my doctor didn't explain to me how serious the disease was I had in my knee caps. he just said that in 3 to 6 months after each surgery I would be fine and a year and a half has gone by and the surgery was not a success. Never once I was I told it was possible that the surgery could fail. Now I need surgery again. I would recommend doing your own research, asking a lot of question seeking multiple opinions. even check out the american arthritis foundation website and all the resources they have available.
Updated Thu Apr 29 2010