Welcome to HW. You have come to the right place, this is a great bunch of peeps here. We learn so much from each other, have someone to vent to when we need it, support each other the best we can. I think you get the picture.
So, the best I can tell you have osteoarthritis. Welcome to the club, I have it too in all major joints, recently had a morphine pump implanted because oral meds could not address all of the pain that is in places all over.
First thing I would do is get a copy of all medical records from all these drs you have seen and are continuing to see. Be sure to get the written reports of all x-rays that you have had done. More and more it is becoming a necessity to keep a copy of our medical records for our use. I think if you read your x-ray reports you can be better informed of what is really going on with you. I see you have had either a CT or MRI of your neck which showed some problems. If you have a pinched nerve in your neck, it will cause pain, tingling and numbness in your hand, along with arm pain. This should be investigated further. Have you had an MRI of the lumbar spine? If not, get your dr to do one, along with MRI's of the hips. MRI's are much more definetive than a CT Scan.
You say your dr you see now does not say much of anything on your visits. Thats no good, you need communication as to what the prognosis will be and what are all of your options here. Its fine that your pain meds are working now, but as with any medication taken over a period of time, it loses its effectiveness due to becoming tolerant to it.
I would highly consider seeing a good pain mgt dr. There are so many things these guys can do for pain that our PCP's and orthopedics can't do and won't do. I have been under the care of mine going on 2 yrs and this guy understands pain, and he does not believe you must learn to live with pain. They are not miracles workers and make all the pain go away, but they can sure give a person a better quality of life and have the person up and being mobile. Perhaps your dr will be willing to refer you to a good pain mgt dr.its sure worth asking him to do so.
Again, I want to stress the importance of obtaining a copy of all your medical records, including all written reports of your x-rays. If you can get into a pain mgt dr he will also need a copy of your records to see what has and has not been done for you.
I do hope you will hang out with us here and keep us posted on how things are going. Susie