PMR and Osteoarthritis

Posted by Susan @ssg, Aug 20 6:16am

I had my first appointment with a rheumatologist the other day at which time the diagnosis of PMR was confirmed. I also had several radiographic images taken of my knees and hips which revealed osteoarthritis. The rheumatologist feels that cortisone injections will relieve pain to the point that the dosage of Prednisone can be decreased. Has anyone undergone this mode of treatment and, if so, what was your experience/result? Thanks so much!

Hello Susan @ssg, I also have PMR and degenerative arthritis in my knees and hips. My PMR is currently in remission and I've had my right knee replacement done last year. Currently having pain in my right hip at night and have thought about a cortisone injection to see if that will help. Prior to my knee replacement I did have a cortisone injection and it did help considerably. I had one several years prior to the last one when I first started having knee problems and it lasted quite awhile. I think the cortisone shot only helps the one joint so if that's where your only pain is I would definitely go for it.

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Cortisone injections are helpful but only temporarily. I'm not so sure it will help decrease the dose of prednisone you may need for PMR. I had severe degenerative arthritis in both knees and that pain I could distinguish from PMR pain. It is true that prednisone will help pain caused by degenerative and inflammatory arthritis but taking more prednisone for that purpose is not a good idea.

That is a huge problem when taking prednisone because it helps many types of pain. It is very easy to take more prednisone for pain that isn't caused by PMR. When the pain goes away, it is easy to justify the higher dose of prednisone by calling it PMR pain.

I have had both knees replaced and that did help me decrease my prednisone dose. I think it may prove that I was taking more prednisone for the wrong reason. I also have arthritis on my lower back. After awhile, it becomes difficult to distinguish PMR pain from arthritis pain. My rheumatologist frequently told me and a "localized" cortisone injection is more preferable then taking "systemic" prednisone.

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@dadcue

Cortisone injections are helpful but only temporarily. I'm not so sure it will help decrease the dose of prednisone you may need for PMR. I had severe degenerative arthritis in both knees and that pain I could distinguish from PMR pain. It is true that prednisone will help pain caused by degenerative and inflammatory arthritis but taking more prednisone for that purpose is not a good idea.

That is a huge problem when taking prednisone because it helps many types of pain. It is very easy to take more prednisone for pain that isn't caused by PMR. When the pain goes away, it is easy to justify the higher dose of prednisone by calling it PMR pain.

I have had both knees replaced and that did help me decrease my prednisone dose. I think it may prove that I was taking more prednisone for the wrong reason. I also have arthritis on my lower back. After awhile, it becomes difficult to distinguish PMR pain from arthritis pain. My rheumatologist frequently told me and a "localized" cortisone injection is more preferable then taking "systemic" prednisone.

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Thanks for the description of your experience. For sure I do not understand the dynamics of cortisone and prednisone and PMR pain. I do know that to get relief I best follow the advice of the rheumatologist and see what happens and, if necessary, follow a different treatment route. All I do know at this point in time which is early in the PMR experience is that I HURT.

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I agree that it is best to follow the advise of your rheumatologist. I have been diagnosed with PMR and have taken prednisone for 12 years. I have been off prednisone for only the last 4 months and I think PMR is finally in remission. PMR and degenerative arthritis are two different diseases and are treated differently. However, the pain caused by the two diseases is very similar. It is difficult to tell the difference between pain caused by PMR (muscle pain) and pain caused by degenerative arthritis (joint pain). PMR is very painful all by itself. When arthritis is mixed in, the pain is even worse.

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