Questions about osteoarthritis.

Posted by ssbionicknee @ssbionicknee, Aug 24, 2018

I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in 2009. I have a high tolerance for pain and waited until I was bone on bone and my leg was locking up before going back to the doctor. By the time I went to the doctor a TKR on my right knee was my only option.I have been out of work since April 29 and my surgery was May 14. I was put to the head of the line because my knee was a mess. This is my question about osteoarthritis. I have OA in my left knee as well. In fact it is slowing down the healing in my right knee because it is now hurting from being the weight bearing leg. The plan is to get the 3 injections in my left knee to help my right knee improve, but I know I am close to needing that one replaced as well.The surgeon said it was borderline. I also have osteoarthritis in my neck, spine, and shoulder and I have a herniated disc in my neck. I am 52 and I have a job that is physically demanding. Heavy lifting and on my feet all day. Because of this I am often in pain, which I tend to ignore, but am realizing I need to be listening to my body a little more. I do not think that I can do my active job anymore. I also can't sit at a desk for long periods of time. That hurts my lower back and sciatic nerve. I am at a crossroad here.At what point does it become a disability? I have the left knee that is going quickly downhill followed by my right shoulder. Has anyone had to make this decision and how did you know it was time?

@hopeful33250

Hello @ssbionicknee

You were asking about your osteoarthritis and the possibility of applying for disability. If you care to share more, other than the arthritis, do you have other physical or emotional problems that might add to the need for disability?

There are professionals (lawyers and other advocates) who can help you determine whether or not you would qualify for disability. Sometimes, they have their own team of medical and psychological people who can help evaluate and help "plead your cause."

It would be good to talk with your medical doctor(s) and see what they say, then talk with a legal professional who specializes in this type of law and begin the process of putting your case together.

Generally speaking your first attempt to apply for disability benefits are often denied, and the second attempt (especially with professional legal counsel) helps to pull it through. These are of course just general guidelines.

Will you talk with your doctor(s) and get an opinion?

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To give an update, I have not had time to look into disability yet. The past 2 weeks have been insane. My new knee has become the stabilizing leg. However, the new knee has been bothering my when I drive so I try not to drive to far. I talked to the doctor today about the old knee and we decided that the shot was not going to help, so I need to go in and schedule the left knee for surgery. I would like to wait until the beginning of the year to have another TKR. In the meantime, I have an appointment with the shoulder doctor.I fell on my new knee a few weeks ago and landed on my new knee (which I highly don't recommend) as well as my right shoulder. This is the 3rd hit to my shoulder. My first fall caused a small tear in my rotator cuff and I did not require surgery, just PT. I fell a second time and put my right arm out to catch myself, which ended up with me spraining my wrist and my shoulder. Along with tendonitis. My neck and shoulder have been hurting since I fell, but I can only work on one body part at a time in PT. So I had to wait and it has gotten worse. So my plan is to have the shoulder looked at and most likely have PT for a while, plan the surgery for the first of the year and go ahead and look into disability. My PT told me that I did not need a lawyer because of having 2 TKR's. He said to gather all my records and get a disc with all my images on it. So that is the plan at this moment. I am hoping that I don;t have any more falls. My doctor says my weak knee is causing the falls.

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@ssbionicknee
Good Morning!
I love your screen name! I tell my friends and family that by the time I am done fixing everything that is wrong with me, I'll be the bionic woman.

So sorry about what you are going through. Falling is no fun and when you already have issues, it makes things worse. I've fallen 4 times, hitting the ground once and grabbing on to something or someone 3 times before hitting the ground. it was at fall 2 that my PT told me to get a cane to help me with my balance. It works. I fell much more stable and comfortable. You might want to try it until you are all fixed and done with all your rehab and PT.

In my opinion, I think it is a great idea to do the PT BEFORE surgery! About 15 years ago, when I was lifting weights, I tore something in my shoulder (not the rotator cuff). I had it fixed and then went for PT (as directed by the surgeon). I never got full range of motion back. When I was a few weeks into PT, I asked my surgeon when I could start to do weights again. I was told at any time. When I told my PT what the doc said, he said he felt it was way too soon. I listened to the answer I wanted to hear……the docs. Within a couple of months the shoulder started to hurt, again. When I went to the surgeon, guess what? I reinjured my shoulder. I didn't re-tear in the same spot, but right next to it. The way I understood it, the area next to the repair site was weaken when it took over until the surgical area healed. But, I needed surgery again.

I wasn't ready to go through the surgery and rehab again. Too soon. So, I opted to do PT to try to strenghten the area. Then, a few months later, I had the surgery. This time, I healed VERY quickly and got full range of motion back. This surgery was more involved because not only did he repair the tear, but he also removed bone because I was bone on bone and the arthritis was pretty bad. Must say, all these years later and all my pain, I don't have any issues where he did the surgery. Guess I just wanted to say, in my long winded way, that in my experience, PT BEFORE surgery gives you a leg up on the rehab and healing process.

Good luck!
Here's to a pain free day!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@ssbionicknee

You really had a rough time with shingles. What bothers me out the shot is that i got the old shot and right after, they announced that their was a new shot that you had to get. It seems silly for them to have not told me to wait for the new shot. I was told to wait until my knee healed before getting the new shot. They way things are going with my knees, I may never have a chance to get them.

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@ssbionicknee
Hi!
Yes, I did have a rough time with the shingles. On the positive side, I didn't have the pain that most people have with the rash. No rash, no pain.
I am surprised that it was suggested you get the old shingle shot when the new one was coming out. The only reason why it might have been suggested is because they either didn't know about it or they didn't know how long it would be before the serum would be ready for public use. Who knows?????
I don't know why you would have to wait to get the shot because of your knee. One thing doesn't have anything to do with the other. I am having spinal surgery in 2 weeks and I was all set to get the second part of the shot without any problem……except that they didn't have the part 2 serum. That is another story.
I don't know who told you to wait, but you might want to check with the pharmacy since they are the ones who give the injection and were trained about it.

Have a pain-free day!
Ronnie

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Hi Ronnie I asked my pharmacist about the new shot right after my TKR and she suggested waiting. I need to ask again while I am in between surgeries.I need to see what I did to my shoulder, in case it needs fixed as well.I am beginning to feel like Jamie Sommers.

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@ssbionicknee

Hi Ronnie I asked my pharmacist about the new shot right after my TKR and she suggested waiting. I need to ask again while I am in between surgeries.I need to see what I did to my shoulder, in case it needs fixed as well.I am beginning to feel like Jamie Sommers.

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@ssbionicknee
Hi Jamie (LOL)
I am glad you asked the pharmacist. I would follow his/her directions.
Ronnie

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