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Does anyone suffer from Psoriatic arthritis and Degenerative disc diease?

ncpainweonncpainweo Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Arthritis, Osteoarthritis
I'm new to this, but I was wondering if anyone has psoriatic arthritis and degenerative disc disease? I have been through everything spinal fusion in 05 that failed, now I'm told by the Dr's SCS is all that's left. I'm also having anterior cervical discectomy done for a collapsed disc. I've taken pain meds for years, I have to wear a back brace daily just to go out. Just looking to meet others with maybe same issues. Thanks :)oh yeah I'm 47, this all started at 33.


  • I have DDD and rheumy goes back and forth between PsA and just calling it spondyloarthropathy, which are almost one in the same (not calling it AS yet). I do have psoriasis and the end joints of my fingers swell up and turn bright red. I won't go out in public without painted toenails they are so bad :(.

    I'm miserable. I am 40 and have been on the inflammatory arth merry go round from 30 forward. I took a 20 ft fall a few years ago and added a lot of mechanical issues to the mix as well.

    Hope you are having a better day!
  • Thanks for the info. I know the conditions DDD and PsA overlap, the Dr's say it all the time but sometimes I'm in so much pain, I forget what I hear. So now I bring someone else to make sure I'm getting all the facts. Everyone sounds like a Dr on this site it's amazing. Thanks for your help, feel better :)))
  • "Some type of spondyloarthropathy" (possibly PsA or AS) and DDD, as well as a few other things in the mix. I've been on Methotrexate in the past and am now on Enbrel; unfortunately I'm in the middle of a huge flare-up of symptoms, so we're trying to figure out if I should be on or off the Enbrel. Very frustrating, so I can empathize with you!!

  • TracLlynne, did you have any luck with the meth? My Rheumy just prescriben Sulfasalazine, but I am allergic to sulfa (she knew this). I picked it up b/c the pharmacist said it was up to me to decide whether to try it or not, I've been to scared b/c I'm also diagnosed "Idiopathic Anaphalaixis" and the last trip to the ER was no fun.

    Still not sure why she insisted on trying the sulfa first.
  • I tried sulfasalazine first, too, but had days and days of vomiting and diarrhea; I didn't think I had a sulfa allergy, but I would say I do! I have never felt so crappy as I did while taking that medication.

    From there I tried MTX for two years; I had some relief at the beginning, but the pain crept back until it was unmanageable again, so I went off it.

    I've been on Enbrel for five months and was very excited in the first two months because it seemed to reduce my SI joint and spasms (???); the Enbrel support team (Enliven) had never heard that spasms were reduced while on the meds, but I like to be different. In the past two months, my pain levels have gone off the chart many times, so I've been forced back to the ER, have had a friend who is a doc make house calls, and have been on two courses of prednisone. Nothing seems to be helping, despite physio with IMS (similar to acupuncture) and the usual exercise and stretching. The spasms are still better, but the low back/SI pain is ugly.

    I'm still kind of shocked that your doc would prescribe sulfasalazine when you have such a severe allergy; I know there is an 'order' that they like to prescribe those meds, but it sounds a bit scary to me.

    Take care, and I hope you get onto something that gives you relief.

  • Hi Tracy, thanks for the insight. I figured there was an order also, but with a sulfa allergy? I still haven't taken it, my follow up is in Dec, I may give it a shot, just to rule it out. Least I have an Epi-pen!

    Sorry to hear that nothing is working for you. My rheumy has mentioned Methotrexate in convo and I'm supprised she didn't try that first. I was having some relief with the Relafen but it has begun to cause severe diarrhea-again. I'm hoping it works itself out and I can tolerate it.

    I did have another ESI last week and one upside of the steriod that does end up in by system, it cleared my psoriasis in 4 days. I'm sure it will return but even the nurses who checked me in for the procedure were supprised at how bad it was on my hands. It also helped my finger joints return to the proper size!

    On the downside I had a bad reaction to the steriods and am not sure I am willing to go through that again.

    This disease really stinks!! Its hard chasing children when you are afraid to bend down.

    Hope you find some relief soon :) T.
  • I have significant DDD and was just diagnosed with AS 3 weeks ago. I'm on Prednisone for now, but I go back on 12/21 to discuss starting either Methotrexate, Sulfasalazine, or Plaquenil.
  • Hello Fellow PsA Patients -

    From age 16 through 36 I dealt with Psoriasis that affected my elbows, knees, scalp, and chest...kept it under control with topical creams and coal tar shampoos only to have it completely disappear by age 37.

    I had thought myself to be completely rid of the symptoms (and Psoriasis itself) until the Summer of 2006 when at age 44 I began to experience neck, arm, low back, hip and knee stiffness that was debilitating enough to cause the loss of my dental insurance administrator (office/desk) job and that's when "the party" began for me.

    In 2009, "failed back syndrome" (since I'd had an unrelated L5/S1 fusion in 1991) and a C6/C7 disc bulge were diagnosed by my Pain Management Doc and I underwent a brief course of P.T. plus steroid injections, but ended-up having a C6/C7 cervical fusion performed in June of 2009. By Oct. of 2009 I had an SCS implanted in my Lumbar Spine (two epidural leads at T-11 and the battery pack placed in abdomen). Then in the early Spring of 2010 I had some tests run for RA (that i suggested be done) since I had been experiencing severe joint/neck stiffness and although I wasn't positive for RA, I was ANA positive (the precursor to Lupus) and when putting all of the pieces (past and present) of the puzzle together...my Rheumatologist made the Psoriatic Arthritis diagnosis. I was immediately put on Humira and Prednisone for PsA flare-ups when they got bad enough to warrant the steroid use.

    I bit later in the Summer of 2010 I had a Foramenectomy done on the C7 vertebrae since the left Foramen was covered with Arthritic/bone spur build-up and thus impinging nerves in the process. Approximately 6 months after being put on Humira I was taken off it because for whatever reason it wiped me out for 3 solid days after taking it every other week, then instead put on weekly injections of Enbrel and 10mg's of Methotrexate once weekly as well. In February of 2011 an EMG showed that my left Ulnar nerved was compressed at the spine and elbow levels, causing three numb fingers and arm weakness on the left side. Subsequently, I had a Ulnar nerve decompression with transpositioning of the nerve at the elbow level, which was tried before performing the more risky spine level surgery. The surgery was successful but very recently a bad (and stupid of me) slip in the shower (almost landing flat on my back, bending me in half backward in the process) had evidently tore scar tissue away from my C-Spine fusion area and caused swelling plus bleeding into the back of my neck. So I'm on week three of Prednisone therapy now as the originally prescribed 2 week course didn't completely get the job done. I'm also cramping in my legs and feet (especially on the left) more so now than ever and when they hit they're quite severe (and happen when trying to sleep at night).

    In October of this year I was awarded SSDI benefits (after an 18 month battle for them) so that's a great relief, I walk with a cane to keep me from wandering about as if I'm drunk (thanks to nerve damage and the SCS effects) and there's a plethora of various related symptoms and effects of PsA and the meds that prevent me from being very productive in any capacity. Of course, my emotional well-being has also been compromised by the events of the past 5 plus years now but I take no meds for it...however, the anxiety and panic issues that i sometimes experience are certainly NO walk in the park but thankfully aren't very frequent!

    This is the short version of my long story, trust me when I say that I've spared you all the VAST majority of the details and for this you should be thankful! :)

    Take care my friends and let's all hang-in there together...it's always comforting to know that we're NEVER alone when it comes to having PsA as it's not exactly the most common malady known to man! :)


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