The damage is done, now what?

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 3/2/2008 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been suffering from RA for several years now and it has mainly affected my hands, ankles and lower back. Unfortunately, my doctors did not diagnose my RA until the cartalidge was completely gone from both my hands.
I have been taking Methotrexate, Celebrex, Folic acid, ultram and prednisone for about 8 months now. The stiffness has decreased but the pain has not. In fact my hands seem to be getting worse. The simplest tasks seem to cause them to flare and now it has gotten to the point that when they flare up they seem to lock up and I am unable to fully close my hand. For example; this morning I was washing my backdoor windows and by the time I was half way through it, I was in tears from the pain and I couldn't even pick up a paper towel because my hands would not allow me. It's getting very scarey and I'm afraid of losing full use of my hands.
My doctor insist that the pain will get better with time but I'm not seeing any improvement. All he is doing is increasing my Methotrexate. I'm currently taking 8 x once a week and he wants to discontinue the prednisone at my next appt. this coming Friday.
Does anyone have any ideas on alternatives to medications? I know there is knee surgery but has anyone heard of or had any type of hand surgery? I know the damage is severe but there has to be something I can do.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles... by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it ~Mark Twain

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3042
   Posted 3/2/2008 3:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, There are some better drugs for RA, there is Remicade, Humiria and Enbrel. These 3 drugs are good for RA.
Hi, I am teddybearweiser, I am a male.
I was diagnosed with crohns disease when i was admitted to the hospital
in 1992, in Jan of 1993 I was back in the hospital for surgery for my crohns. I had part of my right colon resectioned with ilecolonstomy.
 My GI doctor has me on Asacol, Dicyclomine,Imuran,Celebrex and Remicade. B-12 injection once a month.
My Internest doctor has me on Lisnopril-HTCZ and Folic Acid. Diagnosed
with Osteoarthritis July 2007

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/2/2008 3:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm a 62 year old male with ra. It affects my wrists, knees, ankles, and most recently my back.
I take methotrexate (6), diclofenac, and folic acid. My doc wants to start me on Remicade infushions but the side effects are pretty scary. Know anything about this stuff?

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1179
   Posted 3/3/2008 12:01 AM (GMT -6)   
hi everyone, mtx is a great drug for many with RA but sometimes it is not enough by itself and yes drugs like remicade, humeria and enbrel work well with mtx. each having different regimes to lifestyle. myself i was on mtx and enbrel and i did very well on that combination and hope to return to it soon. i was taken off for an peration and now need clearance to go baack on it.

i so hear your plight with cleaning. i was trying to clean my daughters shower and after all the up and down movement in my arms the pain was so intense i had to finish what i sarted but i thought s imple task had become so painful and hard for me. i cant wait to get back on the enbrel for me i saw almost immediate results and did well on it. others need different combos of drugs.

i know bilogics sound scarey but if we think about how our body is attacking our joints daily that is even more scarey to me. i did not have any side effects to enbrel nor did i have many to mtx. i wish you both good luck and keep us posted on how you are doing. hw is a great site for support.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 3/12/2008 8:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I found that when I took milled flax seed.. about 2 tsps a day it helped with my inflammation. Better than nasty fish oil too. I put it on yogurt, or cereal, even in smoothies. Actually Glucosamine and Chondroition helped after about 2 months. I own stock in vanishing scent Ben Gay. Gentle stretching of the affected joint. Warm soaks or compresses. These are all the measures I used that helped me deal with the pain as a child when my flares were real bad. I could not grasp the blankets to remove them in the morning my fingers were so big. I am sorry that you are going through this now. Good luck with the meds too. Everone is right above here.....^
Age 3 fell on my knee.  I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis in all my joints, Patellar-Femoral Syndrome, GERD, degenerative hip disease
Medications routine: Mobic, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Flexeril, Nexium.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 4305
   Posted 3/26/2008 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi,I am sorry that you are having to deal with all of this and I know how you feel.I can't take any typ of anti-flamatory meds because I have Crohns.I all so have RA and OA not to mention Crohns can cause a lot of joint pain.I am on Methotrexate,Humira it has helped a lot when I started Humira I was like you I could not close my hands I had a lot of problems with picking things up because of it and times my hands would hurt so bad that I would beg my Rheumy to just cut them off thats how bad they were.I take fish oil it helps with the inflamation.I do go to a pain clinic,I am on ocycodone 30mg I'm allowed four aday and I am on Fentanyl pain patches as well that I change out every 72 hours.I have all found that when my joints are really bad I can soak in a hot bath and it does ease my joint's up for a while and I all so use a parfin bath you can buy this at Wal-mart and believe me its worth the money and some times I will hold my hands up under the hotest water that I can stand and that helps as well.I hope that you get some relieve soon.

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