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Mar 20, 2012 · Arthritis and Joint Conditions in Bones, Joints & Muscles

Yes, it’s typical for changes in weather to impact the discomfort of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. My best guess is that the doctor who came to Hondo gave your mom a shot of cortisone. If there’s any way she can do it, she probably needs for him to refer her to an a orthopedic specialist who deals with knee replacement surgery. A friend of mine had a problem with her weight which made her arthritis problems and the deterioration of her knee joints that much worse.

She went on a weight loss program before she was able to safely have the surgery. Following the knee replacement, she underwent physical therapy which helped her strengthen her muscles around the knee joint. She’s now able to work again, though she gets around with a cane. The last four months were very hard, but losing the weight was really helpful and she’s determined to get some more off. She can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and is on her way back to improved health and a lot less pain.

Weight loss is really important. I’ve been trying to get weight off, myself, but it’s hard to do when pain is slowing you down. I think the key is getting exercise, even if all you’re doing is sitting in a chair.

If your mother is on Medicare, she should be covered for those benefits. In addition, if you call the local agency on aging, they should be able to provide information about transportation for disabled persons. The much-reviled Dept. of Health & Human Services has a very helpful web site where you can get a ton of information. For starters, here is the link to the Federal Administration on Aging: http://www.aoa.gov/

If your mother does not have health insurance, hope like heck that the Tea Party folks and the health insurance industry don’t wreck the Affordable Health Care Act. Write your congressman/woman or call up the district office to let them know what your family is going through. Good luck!

Mar 4, 2012 · Arthritis and Joint Conditions in Bones, Joints & Muscles

I can really sympathize, as I have severe osteoarthritis (which is most likely “the degenerative joint disease” your doctor referred to) and neuropathy in my feet due to chemotherapy. Rather than Tylenol, may I recommend ibuprofen or buffered aspirin (if you can tolerate it). You need something that helps reduce inflammation. Tylenol doesn’t do that.

Recently, I had a cortisone shot in the affected joint. It’s not fun to get it, but the benefits can last for many weeks or even many months. The benefit is that it works immediately, by getting right to the spot where you have the problem.

The problem with osteoarthritis is that the padding & fluid provided by your bursae is eventually eradicated. The cartilage between the opposing joints gets worn away, and you wind up with bone rubbing against bone. Which is extremely painful.

The way to diagnose osteoarthritis is through X-rays of the affected joint(s). In my case, after years of pain I finally went to see an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in foot and ankle problems. The X-rays taken were taken by his staff, with me standing on the weight-bearing joints rather than lying down on a table in the X-ray department.

Since my diagnosis, my choices have become rather clearer and I am much more able to cope. Good luck!