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Progression of Severe Osteoarthritis

ma659mma659 Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Arthritis, Osteoarthritis
I was diagnosed with hip osteo in 2001.
I had an ACDF with instrumentation & bone graft in 2006.
I have been on disability with my employer since April of 2009 and just received SSI due to my severe OA and other underlying medical conditions.
I have OA in every joint in my body-literally!
After sitting at a computer for more than 1 hour my neck pain becomes so unbearable that even after hot or cold applications, TENS, massage, pain gel, etc. I can only take a Vicoden and lie in bed for the rest of the day because the pain is so severe to my neck (mostly what I call the hump.)
If I am out walking (shopping) or standing on my feet for more than 1 to 1 1/2 hours both of my legs from my hips to my toes become so painful that I can't walk.
I am 50 years old.
I am currently taking Neurontin, Ibuprofen 800mg x 3, Vicoden prn and Percocet prn for extreme pain.
The worst part of OA is that it will never get better only worse.
Does anybody know why the progression of OA went from hip in 2001 to debillitating my entire body in 8 years?



  • Welcome to Spine Health. Sorry that you are hurting.

    Have you tried supplements? I take SAMe when the OA flares in my hip/knees/hand. I notice improvements in 2-3 days but but it gets even better after a couple of weeks. My flares hit during our spring/rain season here usually. They were much worse when I lived in the PNW.

    I don't know why this happens, it sucks though :) Have you considered getting allegry testing? There is some evidence that allergies can lead to RA and OA. Are you working with a RA doctor?

    As I understand it OA can induce RA.

    Good luck,

  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    hi ma659,
    I can somewhat relate to your OA symptoms. My OA is due to my genetics, I was finally diagnosed with this disease in my early 30's although the symptoms appeared in my early 20's. I am now 53 and it is easier to tell you what parts of my body don't hurt rather than tell you which parts do. I have had a few major spine surgeries and I know there will be more in the near future. My hip pain started in the past few years but it is due to nerve impingement in my spine. My spine is literally collapsing, I have lost over 3 inches in height due to disc degeneration. Even though the pain can sometimes be overwhelming I have ceased taking pain meds for almost a year due to side effects to vital organs. I still work fulltime and push myself to exceed goals that are not out of reach of my capabilities, Granted, I have slowed down and it does bother me mentally. But I am stubborn and I'm not about to give in yet although I know the day will come when I will have to realize I must change my lifestyle although it wil be hard to accept.
    I know how you feel ma659, I wish you the best.
  • Thank you both for your support.
    I did see a Rheumatologist last May and then again in August. She looked at my xrays and MRI results and took xrays of both my feet and hands and official diagnosed OA in both.
    Unfortunately she told me there was nothing she could do except to try to keep me as comfortable as possible (pain killers, then injections, then surgery as needed-our planned route of defense.)I told her I didn't want injections that could possibly injure my spinal cord but when the effectiveness of meds runs out then I will consider it.
    If surgery will always be my last resort, I want to make sure I will be able to have that option.
    I'm trying so hard to not have to reach that next level of pain meds because I have a long way to go with this.
    My mother did have spinal OA beginning in her early 40's so I know this is part of the problem.
    I do take meds for depression since the pain/depression cycle run concurrently.
    I just get so discourged just knowing that my pain will just get worse.
    I will never feel as good tomorrow as I feel today.
    Thanks for listening!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,818
    for certain people.
    Those that have had surgery, the OA can and will progress faster. I realized over 25 years ago that arthritis was going to be part of my life and I had to figure on how to deal with it.
    35+ years dealing with chronic pain and seven spinal surgeries, plus more herniated discs haved left me in an interesting state. Right now, I am facing total shoulder replacements for both of my shoulders because of arthritis.
    Over the years, I have had to deal with this. I've spent 34+ years working with computers, so that has not been the best thing to do.
    I have found ways to make sure I get up every day and move forward.
    To answer your question, the only reason I can think for the progressive is our age and a previous and/or existing spinal or major joint problem
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I'm 40 and have OA in most of my joints, i'm currently lining up for 2 knee replacements hopefully in the not too distant future. And i've already had the tip of my clavicle removed on my left shoulder.
    No-one's given me a definite reason why I have such extensive arthritis at such a young age. But my ortho probably said it best, he said "you just have crappy cartilage". I guess it's just the luck of the draw.
    There's nothing much I can see to make you feel better, just know that you're not alone, there are some fantastic people here who will support you on your bad days.
    Just take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time if you have to. With the progress modern medicine is making you never know they may just come up with a solution for OA some day.
    Hugs and take care
  • I also have OST. Im 40 years old and when i was a child i was on dilatin for gram somthing seizurs. I think i was on it to age 12. My t score is 2.6 at hip area and they said it was due to the dilatin and not enough calcium intake, though I remember drinking lots of chocletr milk. Their might not be a conection but maybe another medication could have caused this in your past and now is showwing its ugly head like in my case. Wish u the best and dont break a hip it hurts.

  • Hello,

    The OA in my spine is bad, and it progressed very quickly over a span of 3 years. It all started in '03 with occassional sudden (what I now know are) back spasms. It progressed so fast that within 3 yrs time I was barely able to walk anymore. It caused severe lumbar stenosis from osteophyte overgrowth, ligament thickening & buckling and also disc herniations. My spine surgeon said it was very unusual for him to see someone my age (I believe i was about 33 when it started) with all this and occur so quickly. He did say, though, that part of it could be genetic. My mother and her side of the family have or had terrible joint and spine problems as well as various autoimmune diseases. I have it really bad also in my right ankle, my joint is destroyed, but that came about suddenly at 19 or 20 yrs old. Now it's in my hips, lower, and upper spine. I also have Lupus, but was told lupus doesn't destroy joints and doesn't affect the spine. But perhaps in your case, you might have some autoimmune disease? Have you ever been checked for rheumatoid arthritis or other AI conditions?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,818
    to determine why such an accelerated deterioration of my shoulders due to arthritis. Its been going on for about 4 years now, but the last 6 months it advanced.
    MRI reports show remarkable differences in the spread and damage of arthritis.

    From clinical examinations, they have ruled out any form of rheumatoid arthritis. They also feel that from prior surgeries, the advancement wouldn't be that sudden and quick. They are thinking genetic situations, but still nothing to explain things, especially in the shoulder area since that is not a weight bearing area such as hips and knees.

    My surgeon who is going to do the shoulder replacement told me, "Does it really matter?" It is what it is, you just need to track it for the rest of your body
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Papa Ron,I'm not sure if you've had your surgery yet but I wish you the best of luck. I hope this alleveates some of your pain. When I read your bio I stop and try to realize that I am so blessed to not have the pain you are going through. But sooner or later I know it will get worse.
    I will keep you in my thoughts!
  • Hi Julie!
    I hope you are doing well from your ACDF surgery. I had 4-5-6 4 years ago and I'm still waiting to set off security alarms when I walk into or out of a store because of the titanium plate. My doctor assured me it wouldn't happen but... you never know!
    I did have alot of allergies when I was a kid (2nd grade) and then they just sort of went away. I was allergic to everything you can think of and why I don't have any allergies other than to meds is beyond me.
    That may be something I need to explore.
    I wish you all the best. Take your time to recover!
    You'll know when your ready to face the world again!
  • Thank you for your support Kylie! I know I haven't posted in ages to thank you.
    I just get so disgusted with pain. Mine started around 40 too and it went downhill from there.
    I'm trying to hold off on injections and surgeries for as long as I can.
    I wish you good luck with your replacements (kinda of sounds like they're putting us back together) and I will keep you in my thoughts as well
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