Spondylitis or SpA (Crohn's Arthritis) can indeed do some significant damage to our joints over time. Initially, the inflammation is in the soft tissues inside & surrounding the joint. These would be the tendons, ligaments, cartilage and synovium. The tendonitis can also transfer pain away from the joints and into the surrounding muscles. Later, as the disease progresses, inflammation of the actual bone begins.
Eventually the soft tissues begin to calcify and the joints can fuse. This happens more quickly with smaller joints, but can also occur in the large joints.
From some of the articles I've read, it seems likely that those of us with inflammaotry arthritis (not RA) may be more susceptible to early osteoarthritis as a result of the weaken bone in our joints.
If I were going to have knee surgery again, I'd ask the surgeon to take synovial fluid samples to check for crystals. It's not likely that you have gout or pseudogout, but if they're in there, why not do the test? I'd also ask for a biopsy or two of the synovium (soft tissue lining of the joint) to see if there is chronic inflammation there.
I was 15 when my knee problems began. My surgery was when I was 19 and I had chronic synovitis way back then. I try not to think about the damage that might be in there now, but I'll be going for an MRI soon and that will tell me all the gory details. Even though we've been treating my SpA, I've already that I'll probably get new hips and knees someday. Shoulder replacements aren't out of the realm of possibilty either. For now, I'm just hoping that I don't have AVN in these aching ankles. I'm too young to have to get those fused!
Knee surgery isn't fun under any circumstances. Hopefully, they'll be able to shoot you up with enough marcaine or whatever they use these days to keep you comfortable for the first few days. I was so glad for the steroid injection after my surgery. Make sure that you get some decent pain meds and follow your Doc's orders about resting to avoid any post-op injuries.
I hope you have a quick and easy recovery. (((hugs)))
PS If you think of anything that you want to talk tot he surgeon about
before the surgery - WRITE IT DOWN and bring the list. I'm a veteran in the OR and know that even simple things slip your mind on the day of the surgery. I now appear with my list and make sure I have the answers I need before they get the meds into my IV.
Keah a.k.a. Wormy
God helps those who help themselves.
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