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Reumatoid Arthritis - Impact on Spine

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Arthritis, Osteoarthritis
The swelling of joints in arthritis, inclusing the knuckles, is caused by the laying down of bone material additional to the joint structure by the white blood cells as they attck the joints of the body.

My girlfriend 8> has suffered from Arthritis since she was in her mid 20s she is now mid 40s :''( . She has had both her knees replaced. She also suffers with damaged knuckles and elbows and also a degree of damage to her ankles and feet joints.

My question though is regarding foot reflexes - Babinski refex - she has absolutely no reflex at all in one foot and minimal reflex in the other. Initial information suggested this could be cause by spinal damage - a previous blogger here and some articles here suggests Arthritis does not affect the spine, I am uncertain about this! - has anyone further information?

Also........; #:S

1 could the knee replacement have damaged the foot refex?
2 could fusion in the spine, perhaps caused by arthritis, dampen the reflex?

and finally, on another point raised on this site about Physical excercise and joint manipulation -

3 does manipulation and non-impact excercise reduce joint fusion, including spine fusion?

Your genius and expertise is awaitied! :B

Stephen
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Comments

  • Stephen and welcome to the forum. This is definitely not an area that I know too much about but I would say this much....make a list of all of your questions and concerns and then discuss them with the doctor. I am sure that other members will be able to shed some light on this but you should always find out what a doctor has to say , you know , get that expert opinion. Btw , is she under a doctor's care and receiving treatment of any kind? Just curious. I wish you two nothing but the best and I hope that she can find some sort of relief and find it quickly. Take care....Miki
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Hey Stephen,

    Welcome to this site, I hope I can be of some help to your friend. I have also been dealing with arthritis since my early 20's but not formally diagnosed with OA till my 30's. For me it is a genetic problem. I do have the symptoms of RA but due to my R-factor in my blood test my Rheumatologist has labeled it as OA (osteoarthritis). My feet and hands are disfigured and my vertabrae has and is collapsing. At 16 years old I was 5'8" tall nowat 52 I am at 5'4" tall.
    Due to the collapse of my cervical spine I had a multi-level fusion with lots of hardware to stave off paralysis and incontinence. The symptoms that set off red flags were pain, tingling, and numbness in my left shoulder blade, arm, and hand. A year before my fusion I had a Laminectomy done in my lower back for spinal stenosis which was caused by my OA.
    So you can see that arthritis can definitely cause problems in the spine. As for
    your other questions I totally agree with Miki, consult with a medical professional. I assume your friend has been seeing a rheumatologist? If not,
    that would be my first appointment and have any other referrals come from that Dr or her primary care physician.
    I wish you both the best and pursue this aggressively until you are confident with the answers you receive and the relief she deserves.
    Take care and keep us posted,
    Ranger
  • Hi Stephen and welcome! I am so sorry to hear of all the problems that your girl friend has been having. She is very young to have had knee replacements, etc. But I think it is better to have the joints replaced than to suffer the pain. I don't have any first hand knowledge of the foot reflex problem. But maybe someone else on here will shed some light on that for you.

    Like Ranger said, I hope she is being treated by a Rheumatologist. If not, i would try to find a good one ASAP. I wasted a lot of years being treated by PCP drs who didn't realize that my arthritis was an auto-immune disease. I now have a good Rheumy and a good treatment plan.

    I also agree that arthirits affects the spine, I know mine has. From my reports it said "uncovertebral joint osteophytes..." If I understand this correctly, it means bone spurs are going into the disc space. Mine causes nerve pain to my right shoulder and arm. I think the nerves to the feet can also be affected, depending on which spinal level is damaged.
    Good luck to you both. I sure hope she gets the right treatment and gets some relief. It can be discouraging to deal with all of these problems, so hang in there. And please keep us posted. Marti
  • Im 32 and have had severe back pain all my life.anyway i have scoloisis,ddd,osteoarthritis on spine and leg shorter than the other, i recently had a fusion from l4 to s1 with bmp[a bone enchancing thing that growns new bone.the surgeon didnt take out my discs and didnt put in any metalwork....now i have stenoisis which apparently this new bone stuff can cause..anyway this is my dilema.....i have always gotten like a little shortness of breath at my ribcage especially when trying to breathe in deep breaths, after the fusion i was admitted to hospital cause my blood results came back with something wrong...they thought i had a clot[i think it was high inflamation anyway the thing that has been happening now is that its getting harder to breathe and for some strange reason it seems to be that all my joints are either pain and sore but when this weakness comes from all over my body the muscles go to water and like i cant feel my joints..............MY PROBLEM IS.my gp has referred me to a neuralagist he thinks i dont have a muscle problem but im thinking i do but that the recent surgery is like masking it a bit, i would have preferred to see a rheumatolagist but he said i think neurology.....since i was a child my mum said that one time she had been in with her doctor about herself and had me with her and the gp commented on how i was walking on my tiptoes[which when i was researching muscular dystrophy that was a sign. i have always had back problems but never saw a rheumatolagist, i would see a rheumatolagist and pay to see one i actually arranged to see one on 21 september but i needed a referral from my doctor but now he is going to refer me to neurology.please anyone what do you all think i should do, my hair is coming out in clumps too and my muscles when this weakness isnt happening are really tight and sore and hot and the gp admitted that the weakness isnt there all the time.im worried that it is the recent surgery and nerve issues that are stopping me from getting a proper and through investagation.....BUT HOW AM I GOING TO GET TO SEE A RHEUMATOLAGIST if the gp thinks it neurology.........I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE UR HELP GUYS..THANKS!!!
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