New to spinal arthritis diagnosis.

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njkastle
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/17/2009 4:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm trying to deal with a new spinal arthritis diagnosis with not much help from my dr. or insurance company.  I'll try to make a long story short.  Seven years ago I started experiencing knee pain.  It took me five year for anyone to try to help, but I finally got a left knee replacement at age 56.  Shortly after, hip pain on the same side started.  I waited two years for the knee to heal in case that was involved, then I went to my knee O.S.  X-rays showed the hip is not arthritic, but the lower spine is.  Referral to "Spine Guy"...another month in pain.  "Spine Guy" says x-rays show degenerative, arthritic spine damage that could explain my hip pain.  He orders an MRI.  Insurance company refuses to pay.  So I am now in 4 weeks of physical therapy that is supposed to tell them something, but just makes my lower back muscles sore.  The hip still hurts if I try to do any one thing....standing....sitting... sleeping... for more than one hour.  I'm sure the strengthing exercises are a good thing....but I still hurt.  My dr. says I should take Advil as directed on the bottle.  Hello...I've been doing that for a very long time.  I'm refusing to try to work as a substiture teacher because it involves so much standing and walking without sitting down.  If you sit down as a substitute teacher... you are dead meat!!  I retired as a full time teacher a year ago because of my pain and hoped subsituting would be easier because I wouldn't have daily lesson plans, parent conferences, papers to grade...etc.  It didn't work out that way.  So.... "Spine Guy" says he is filing an appeal to the insurance company.  I'm just so depressed and tired ..... I don't really give a rip about what the insurance company wants to do.  I'm going to do my part by doing the physical therapy and setting a wieght loss goal.  I will not do anything that will make the pain worse and see what happens.  I know I am not the first person to ever have this happen.  I learned from my knee replacement forums that so many others have the same problem I have so I am looking for others who have spinal arthritis that is causing leg pain to help me deal with the hoops one has to jump through to get some help.  I can do without the work...but I have my first grandbaby coming in the fall and I will not give up moving aroung at age 58!!

koi collector
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 5/19/2009 8:31 AM (GMT -7)   

don't give up!!! my AS started like yours with one knee in pain & inflamed. then the other knee and both ankles, then my neck. I was somehow diagnosed after a year and a half with spinal arthritis, even though i barley felt anyhting in my back. I was 27 yrs old when this started and 29 when they found that Enbrel was the closest thing to a cure (95%). That was the longest year and a half since my first son was born 2 months after it all started to go down hill. I thankful that my docs found the right med relatively quick so i could enjoy playing/ raising my kid. you can't give up, if you don;t fight for yourself no one else will. It took me 8 doctors of various training to get diagnosed and then to find one who cared enough to find the right meds.

good luck.


golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 5/19/2009 5:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Get your PCP to refer you to a pain management clinic or to up your pain medication. Sounds as if nerves are being crushed and that is probably why your hip hurts. Only guessing because going through something similar. My local dr prescribes my pain relief, I can't survive without it. I also teach and know how hard it is to stand all day. If I look after one hip the other starts to flare, oh the joy of arthritis, lately its my neck...but go get some pain meds until they finish fighting over insurance issues!!!

njkastle
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/21/2009 3:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks to you both for your input. I knew someone out there would understand. The latest is that my "spine guy" called the insurance company, but they will not authorize the mri until I finish 4 weeks of physical therapy. "Spine guy" is so busy he can't see me for 2 weeks after that so we can "talk" about the physical therapy and the insurance company. I would like to stick them both with several weeks of tooth pain and have them be told to wait and take Advil or Alieve. I wrote a letter to challenge their decision, but have not heard anything from them. The school year will be over by then, so I guess it doesn't matter that much.....but it makes me angry to go along with my being in pain and tired. I will ask...no, tell..."spine guy" I need something stronger, at least for night time. I won't be working or driving anywhere. I don't see why I can't have something stronger.

golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 5/21/2009 5:41 PM (GMT -7)   
It is so frustrating when you're waiting weeks for appts and in pain to boot. Go see your PCP and get pain killers to tide you over. I'm thinking of you, golitho
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