Friday, 14 July 2017

Osteoarthritis is no fun

I need happy toes:

When I look back over the years, I remember the seizing up of joints going back to my first marriage. We would sit for a couple of hours over dinner, or go and see a film and, at the end, everyone else would get up and I would begin to... and then have to stop while I gentle unfolded my hips and knees, especially those on my right side. This means I have been dealing with osteoarthritis since my early 30's. As I approach my 60th birthday next year, that's a long time to be dealing with joint pain.

There is no doubt that I have had good years and bad years, and I have to be particularly attentive to my neck and upper back, as there is particular damage to that part of my spine. 

But, the worst damage to deal with is unquestionably that in my foot. It makes walking and standing incredibly uncomfortable and, in the past few years, has become much worse. 

I have been having cortisone injections in the joint of my big toe for a while now, but today it has been decided that surgery is the better plan going forward. I didn't even know that surgery was an option, but they will fuse the 2 joints in my toe, which means the joint will no longer bend, putting an end to pain from that joint. The bones will be set with a slight bend, so that there is rocking motion to the joint to make walking easier.

Joint surgery, or arthrodesis to give it the correct name, 'restores stability, provides pain relief and improves alignment of bones in arthritic patients' - sounds like a good plan to me. 

As I can't have surgery within 6 months of a cortisone injection I have had to forgo the injection today and need to continue managing the pain with rest and painkillers, but if it means I have a permanent solution to a painful condition, it has to be worth it. I just hope it doesn't take too long for the appointment to see the specialist to come through.

After it all heals one of the benefits, other than the lack of pain, will be that I may finally be able to wear normal, pretty shoes again.

Now, that's something to look forward to.

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