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Cyrus Cassidy #45437

need some advice on arthritis from all you old timers

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Earlier this year I went to the orthopedic surgeon due to some chronic pain in my hips.  He took some X-rays and then told me I have arthritis in both, and will need both replaced.  That said, being only 43 he is advising me to put it off as long as possible, maybe over a decade depending on how fast / slow things deteriorate.  I'm convinced that my 3 years enlisted time in the infantry did more to destroy those hips than the subsequent 23 years I've had in service since then!  Add on my time in law enforcement, where I wore 40 extra pounds of stuff around my waist everyday, and it's almost a miracle my hips lasted as long as they have.

 

In any event, I figure a place like this will have more collective knowledge of arthritis than just about anywhere else I hang out, save for my Sons of the American Revolution chapter but we are not meeting for the time being.  

 

I'm having another problem which I think is arthritis, but I'm not willing to go to the doctor about it until this whole coronavirus mess clears up.  On my left hand, my pinky finger is always in pain.  Sometimes I cannot make a fist (everything but that finger moves).  If the pinky does happen to move, sometimes I have to use my right hand to pry it back open again. 

 

Is that arthritis, too?

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I would get a second opinion on those hips. I was told I had severe arthritis in my hips 10 years ago. I had pain but not all that bad, of course I am very used to pain, but I wasn’t having too hard a time with it. 
Anyway, shift to nearly 10 years later and I have recently had two orthopedic surgeons tell me that I have some arthritis in the hips, it’s just not “severe”. I am 59.

 

Regarding your finger, it sounds like you have nerve damage. 

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Sounds like "trigger finger" in your pinky if so it can be taken care of by surgery or in some cases a shot or series of shots. Just had surgery in my right hand for it, its slow to heal up because the DR said to start moving it right away but is a lot better now. It has to do with tendons in the hand. Mine I could bend but not straighten it out.

kR

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I forgot to mention that I have arthritis all over. Too much fun, too much physical work, speed and gravity, sometimes together, have taken their toll. I have tried many things for pain but I have found that Ibuprofen works best for me. 

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Tell that same orthopedic surgeon about your finger.  He will probably order xrays. I had a steroid injection in my middle finger several weeks ago for the same symptoms and it helped a lot.

 

My doc recommended stretching/ range of motion exercises for all fingers.  They hurt but they help maintain flexibility.  Basically he said hang tough and don’t give in to the pain and call him when it gets too bad.  There is no Rx that cures arthritis.  Some surgeries help when there are not other options.

 

Welcome to the club!!

 

;)

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Howdy,

Finger joints were helped a lot by Glucosamine Sulfate two 1000 mg a day.

My Dr warned me that there are many similar chemicals and to ONLY get

this one.  I am having more and more trouble finding any but 

I ordered it by mail from Walmart of all places.

You need to make appointment and get scheduled when C19 patients

aren't coming in.  

Saloon medicine is pretty shaky.

Best

CR

 

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Is there any report in your military records of hip problems? If you believe you damaged them in the service, get a rep and file a claim with the VA. See your county Veterans rep for sure.

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I have severe arthritis too.  Sports, law enforcement, accidents have all contributed.  I have severe pain in the trigger finger on my right hand.  According to my doctor, it is arthritis complicated by gout.  I would encourage you to go see a rheumatologist and get a professional opinion. So what helps?  First I take 600 mg of motrin every morning.  It usually lasts through the day, but occasionally I need to take it later in the day.  Exercise seems to help.  Another thing that I have that helps a lot is a paraffin bath.  If you try this, make sure to get one with a temperature control.  You coat the affected extremity about 8 times with paraffin and let it set for about 10 minutes.   

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Arthritis just confirms that you are alive!  :D I have 46 points of bone deterioration from the A & H bombs in the Corps, plus arthritis in my back, shoulders, right knee, wrists and places to be named later. Jumping out of perfectly good airplanes did not help. I formerly took celebrex but had to stop because it was messing up my kidneys.  After many decades,  I just put up with the "discomfort".. It makes me tired, sometimes cranky and often depressed. You can take occasional cortisone shots and other chemicals but IMHO, you will simply have to bear with it. Now that I am an EL REY, the discomfort just goes with the territory. There are all kinds of medical pain specialists. Just look one up and make an appointment.  :angry:

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40 years hockey, tree work, stone mason. Look into a cbd ointment for your hand. They sell it by the total mg in the package. I used a 1000 mg cbd in an 8 oz jar. Its worth the money. (~$70) Shoulder rotator, elbow, wrist and thumbs. 

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I have  had both shoulders replaced, total knee and ankle replacements too. Too many years of football. Lots of back and hip pain too. Take lots of Aleeve.

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I use Magnesium oil on my knees & hands.Got a few other shooters around here to use it with good results.

Check on the net for the top 10.

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:ph34r:  Was about to have surgery on left pinky finger for trigger finger syndrome when all this C-19 hit the fan, so no "elective" surgeries for the duration.  Now I stretch it and force motion of it first thing in the morning, and it's ok for the rest of the day.  Went through the cortisone shots, which definitely help, but effect only lasts about 2 or 3 months for me, and Dr. said more than 3 shots not recommended.  He said some respond more permanently than others, and if the 3 shots don't work, the only remedy is a 'simple' surgery.....  Cause is the sheath surrounding the tendon becoming inflamed and sticking, causing the digit not to respond to nerve impulses.

 

Regarding the arthritis situation......lots of sage advice in above posts for living with it, but lots of experience has shown what can AGGRAVATE  the condition, and indeed make it worse.

Most folks don't want to hear that the most dire irritants are SUGAR, in all of its forms (especially ice cream and white flour pastries, cake & pie), Caffiene, ALCOHOL, and vegetables of the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, most peppers, and eggplant--I have NO trouble avoiding eggplant....).  Some can tolerate the red potatoes with the thin red skin, as opposed to the traditional Russet Idaho spuds.

 

Gentle exercise emphasizing range of motion and avoidance of impact is beneficial (bicycle as opposed to jogging, yoga rather than HEAVY weight training).

At almost 77 years and with a terribly misspent youth entailing bodily abuse and motorcycles, I avoid aggravation, utilize whatever pain relief method that seems to work, and eagerly await warm weather.

 

Good luck to you.

 

 

 

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My lower legs are riddled with arthritis. Aleve helps a bunch. Tylenol PM to sleep sometimes.

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13 hours ago, Big Sage, SASS #49891 Life said:

Is there any report in your military records of hip problems? If you believe you damaged them in the service, get a rep and file a claim with the VA. See your county Veterans rep for sure.


Yep.  Since I'm still in, I make sure all of that gets into my records.  Law enforcement certainly contributed, but I'll be a monkey's uncle if carrying 120 pound ruck sacks around the cow pasture didn't contribute the most. 

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50 minutes ago, Cyrus Cassidy #45437 said:


Yep.  Since I'm still in, I make sure all of that gets into my records.  Law enforcement certainly contributed, but I'll be a monkey's uncle if carrying 120 pound ruck sacks around the cow pasture didn't contribute the most. 

Glad you are documenting everything. Things have changed at the VA so much in todays environment. It took me 30 years of fighting with the VA, hearing after hearing, denial after denial and letters to my Congressman to finally get things right. The DAV, who was wonderful representing me, even took the VA to court, where we won.

 

Glad things are very different today!

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1 minute ago, Big Sage, SASS #49891 Life said:

Glad you are documenting everything. Things have changed at the VA so much in todays environment. It took me 30 years of fighting with the VA, hearing after hearing, denial after denial and letters to my Congressman to finally get things right. The DAV, who was wonderful representing me, even took the VA to court, where we won.

 

Glad things are very different today!

Oh, don't make that mistake.  I said I had it documented; I never said the VA was working correctly.  The VA is as bad as it's always been!

 

When I transitioned from active duty to the reserves, I went through the whole fight you're talking about.  I was mobilized three times as a reservist, which cumulatively qualified for enough time to get the Post 9-11 GI Bill.  I had to fight them again, despite providing them with every single bit of proof documentation, they dug their heels in.  I finally won.

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My last upgrade took 3 months, thanks to my local county veterans rep. He is a retired Marine and does a great job for vets. When Congress passed the law and funded vet reps in every county in the country, things improved....at least for me!

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Typically, if you see a surgeon, he will recommend surgery and if you see a physical therapist, he will recommend therapy. I would urge caution with ibuprofen and perhaps some other pain relievers right now because of the Covid-19 situation. Some types are safer than others if you have the virus.

The finger situation is a bit different. Do some research and see a doctor.

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Is it rheumatoid arthritis? It requires medicine to slow progression

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40 minutes ago, Mister Badly said:

Is it rheumatoid arthritis? It requires medicine to slow progression

Heck if I know.  I have degrees in history, management, and soon-to-be strategic studies.  So I don't know anything about medicine!

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Aleve and aspirin help me. I know that you really shouldn't mix the two as it could have some side effects but when if I'm doing something I know is going to hurt, I'll take the combo. You can also try real horse liniment, the liquid kind. It doesn't eliminate all the pain, but it does help. I'm sure that a doctor would not advise any of this, so use your own good judgement of course.

 

Good luck and thank your for your service to our Country and community.

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Unfortunately, I am allergic to all NSAIDs (aspirin, Aleve, ibuprophin...) Until that developed, Aleve worked well. Also, I continually iced that hand, per doctor's advise.

 

When I first started having the pain in my right hand (I'm right handed), my doctor said it's just Arthritis. Luckily, the State of CA changed medical providers and I had to change doctors. When I first met the new doctor, I told him it was too painful to shake hands. I told him I had Arthritis. He took one look at my swollen hand and said, "I don't think that is just Arthritis." He took an X-ray and sent me to a hand surgeon. She was young and very thrilled to show my X-rays to her mentors. It turned out that I had Keinbock's disease (disintegrated lunate bone) in my wrist and severe Arthritis in my thumb's basal joint. Since my surgery (to remove four wrist bones and my thumb's basal joint), that hand rarely hurts (where it did). I still have pain it that hand; but, it is nothing like the pre-surgery pain.

 

The moral of the story is I was lucky to be forced to get a second opinion.

 

Good luck!

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21 hours ago, Big Sage, SASS #49891 Life said:

Is there any report in your military records of hip problems? If you believe you damaged them in the service, get a rep and file a claim with the VA. See your county Veterans rep for sure.

Things common to grunts like hip, back, knee problems are not really recognized as service related by the VA unless you have a documented injury. Most of us ground pounders and airborne types eventually have those problems but they only become problematic later on. A lot of us who were injured also didn’t seek any treatment at the time because we were Manly Men, so there is no documentation.

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On 4/7/2020 at 6:28 PM, Chili Ron said:

Howdy,

Finger joints were helped a lot by Glucosamine Sulfate two 1000 mg a day.

My Dr warned me that there are many similar chemicals and to ONLY get

this one.  I am having more and more trouble finding any but 

I ordered it by mail from Walmart of all places.

You need to make appointment and get scheduled when C19 patients

aren't coming in.  

Saloon medicine is pretty shaky.

Best

CR

 

 

Taking Glucosamine hydrochloride is a waste of time. Glucosamine Sulfate helps a lot of people.

 

BTW if you are allergic to shell fish, Glucosamine could cause you to have a similar reaction.

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23 hours ago, Sedalia Dave said:

Glucosamine Sulfate helps a lot of people.

 

Yes. ^^^^^^^^

 

I have gaven Glucosamine to roping horses / performance horses for years. I said if I can waste money on it for them, then I should try it.

Granted, I only have pain in one minor joint. I buy it at Wally World and have no problems while taking it.

 

BUT.....

 

I have also heard hot peppers do the same thing, so I eat one hot pepper a day.

 

SO......

 

Which one of is actually working? I don't know. I like the taste of the pepper and the pills are cheap so I'll just keep on keeping on.

 

(pain free)

 

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On the hips, at your age, a second opinion is absolutely essential. Even more than one. It could be a correct diagnosis, but hip arthritis necessitating surgery usually comes at a later age. So just make sure.

 

Wear and tear arthritis (osteoarthritis), as distinct from rheumatoid arthritis, is to one degree or another a cost of aging, as the pards here are describing. I'm lucky with no hip or knee problems, but the back is a mess.

 

Try the different over-the-counters, and settle on what works best. In my case, it's Excedrin; aspirin with acetaminophen. The acetaminophen (Tylenol) alone with me does nothing, but potentiated with the aspirin, works.

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Try taking CBD oil daily for at least two weeks.  Look at wear you sit and note what is and is not supportive and comfortable.  My desk chair at work is the most comfortable chair I own. I agree with the 2nd opinion and capsacin as an option.  Take otc medication sparingly, but take whatever works best for you with some regularity

 

 

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Cyrus, I had my first hip replacement at 50 the second at 57. The left acetabular component (pelvic socket) had worn through so the joint was bone on bone. The pain was terrible and nothing relieved it. Seven years later the right side had worn to the same extent. Osteoarthritis respects no age and even strikes children. It was the main reason behind developing implants that had longer wearing components (metal on metal, metal on ceramic) so younger patients could be treated. Despite the hype on metal on metal hips, they are not all bad. A good surgeon is VITAL to long term success. Both my hips are still doing great the first was replaced in 2007. Get an opinion from a top ranked orthopedic surgeon and follow his advise, don't settle for a doc that's just "in your plan."  

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On 4/8/2020 at 11:30 AM, Go West said:

Typically, if you see a surgeon, he will recommend surgery

 

Gotta disagree with ya. Not if you see a good surgeon. Mine had me try several medications and other things before finally recommending a total hip replacement.

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Go slow and remember 10% of hip replacements are less than satisfactory.  Had my left hip done in 2017, it was a failure, much worse than before surgery.  A new hip may not be all sunshine and roses go slow and try lots of stuff. 

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Mrs. Itis never keeps her kid at home! Neck ,shoulder, right thumb, knees. All that stupid stuff you did as a youngster comes back to haunt you, ( see you weren't bullet proof). Certain sections of my anatomy are wonderful weather predictors! As of now, Motrin seems to work for me the best. Hit it fairly hard if we've been lifting heavy stuff( mobile home wheels with tires, the axles, 50 lb. salt bags, removing fallen trees, etc.). I try not to over do the meds if I can help it:blush:

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Well I'll throw in my .02. I've had lots of experience with arthritis, both knees, right hip, right ankle fused, right thumb joint repaired with the cadaver anchovy surgery, right shoulder surgery. When I had my shoulder surgery my arm was in a sling for most of 4 months and my right hand swelled up to the point I couldn't pick up a pistol. My 6 month no shooting restrictions were almost off, but my hand was too swollen to use it. Went to a hand surgeon to get a Cortisone shot and he said sure, but it weakens the bones and joints for a week so no shooting for another week, I was signed up for the Territorial Breakout in Yuma that weekend and didn't want to miss it, he gave me a prescription for Diclofenac, a topical anti inflammatory, 3 days later the swelling was almost totally gone and I shot the match. I use it infrequently when I need it, I highly recommend it. My wife is allergic to NSAIDS and breaks out in a rash, but her back doctor said try it and it really helped her back and she didn't have a reaction. 

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Diclofenac (Voltarin) can be a very effective painkiller. My wife used it successfully and I used it for serious back pain and it worked.

 

However, with me it had a serious side effect which is down toward the bottom on the effects lists.

 

I do a lot of hiking still. About 3 years ago, I started having episodes of serious fatigue and shortness of breath in the middle of what would be a normal hike or hill climb, as well as halfway through my lap swim routine. It went on a couple of months and I thought once of going to the emergency room with maybe a heart attack, but there was no pain, just serious shortness of breath.

 

I thought about my meds and I looked further into Diclofenac. I usually check the side effects and I had with that one. I did deeper research and found "shortness of breath on exertion" way down the list; not on the main list. So I stopped it and the problem ended completely in a couple of days.

 

I don't think it's a common effect but be alert to the possibility. Topically, though, it could probably not have that effect.

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