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Author Topic: What to blame my arthritis on (bowlegs? scoliosis?); and the joy of a diagnosis  (Read 978 times)

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Offline Nancy T

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Just diagnosed with arthritis in right knee by internist. X-ray shows bone on bone (apparently on the inside side only) and a bone spur on the outside. (53-year-old female)

Of course, I have to immediately blame something/someone.

First, ME for carrying 50 extra lbs most of my adult life.

Second, my bowlegs? which I clearly inherited from grandma and great-grandma. Apparently that causes arthritis on the inside side, is that correct?

Third, my adolescent-onset scoliosis? I "list" to the right somewhat--right shoulder is WAY lower--can that contribute to knee arthritis?

Fourth, my previous habit of walking for exercise (also for dizziness therapy). And my part-time job which involves being mostly on my feet.

Does this sound like the right order for blame? [Moaning, angry-at-myself sound]

All this time I vaguely thought the catching, aching, and sharp pains were due to shifty joints, tendinitis, sciatica, you name it. I really thought it wasn't arthritis--that it would feel different somehow.

Never complained to the doctor til now because I had lost faith in doctors and diagnosis--every time I'd see them for my dizziness, ear, and neurological symptoms over the past 11 years, it was ALWAYS 'we don't know" or "you're just paying too much attention to your symptoms" or "you do not have any disease", MRIs and tests were always negative, nonspecifically abnormal, or highly abnormal but still meaningless.

What a shock (perversely, a pleasant one) to suddenly get a firm diagnosis with nothing more than an x-ray!! It's a different world here in orthopedics. No making the patient feel like they're imagining some disease.

Nancy
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 05:43:25 PM by Nancy T »

Offline psych_kt

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I can't answer your question about what is to blame for the arthritis but I can definitely share in your relief of a diagnosis! I also have problems with dizziness and faintness that has gone undiagnosed and I've seen several orthopedic doctors for my knee as well who have told me they have no clue what is wrong with my knee. It is definitely a relief when you find someone who can tell you what is wrong with your knee (or anything) and doesn't treat you like you are imagining it! Congrats on getting a diagnosis! 

Offline Nancy T

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Hi "psych kt"--thanks for your comment! It seems odd to be happy over a diagnosis, but at least then you know what enemy you're fighting and can treat it better.

I presume you know that dizziness and faintness can be due to problems in various areas--inner ear (ENT), cardiovascular system, brain (neurology), or anxiety. Hopefully you've had competent doctors check out these areas. Still, many dizzy people never get a firm diagnosis, especially if it's along the ear/brain/anxiety lines--can be hard to sort out even for the best specialists.

It seems strange that orthopedists can't figure out what's wrong with your knee--I thought with x-rays and MRIs it should be easy!

Good luck to you! :)

Nancy

Offline psych_kt

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Nancy,

It took several orthopedic doctors but I did finally get a diagnosis for my knee a few months ago and am now recovering from surgery actually. You would think it would be easy, but I guess the other doctors I went to weren't looking at my whole knee. Turns out my patella tendon was connected to on an angle toward the outside of my leg, making my knee tilt toward the outside, especially when bent, causing it to dislocate a lot. My "good" knee is also like that, except not as bad.

As for my dizziness and faintness, I will hopefully find a good ENT and doctor who can narrow it down! I know it isn't anxiety for me, even though self-diagnosing as a psychology person isn't always the best hehe. The cause is most likely my deviated septum or a version of Mediterranean Anemia since I'm of Italian descent (yay genetics!). Probably a mix. I can usually manage it if I make sure my Iron levels are high enough and I lessen my sinus infections using sinus rinses and stuff. I saw one ENT that said my sinus problems are due to my teeth, I thought that was new one!

In my opinion, a good diagnosis is a million times better than no diagnosis at all! Like you said, at least you know what you're fighting and can figure out how to treat it!

Katie















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