I was involved in a fatal car accident in 1983. I was asleep and a passenger in the car and I woke up in the car after the accident, the accident was horrific and I have night mares and flash backs. Both my femurs where shattered one was compound and came out of leg and went through muscle, it has left me with a hernia and I cannot feel side of legs due to scar tissue. Also my right fibula tib was shattered. Altogether I had 37 Screws and 3 plates in my legs. I have had most of the metal removed but some of the screws where left in the right femur 5 screws and one in left, as surgeon could not remove them, so the screw shafts are still in legs. I was 17 when this happened and am now 44. In the last five years I have experienced total stiffness in legs. Shooting pains (like toothache down my legs and a nagging aching pain which gets me frustrated) Sometimes I find it hard to walk as my legs stiffen up, it comes and goes but I have a nagging aching in my leg that has never been there before. My orthopaedic surgeon says I have osteo arthritis, another one said he is not sure where pain comes from? And my surgeon in london in 1985 after my second operation said when I get older I would have problems due to the high impact of the trauma. I take gabbapentin when pain gets worse and other pain killers but I try and leave them alone. Becuase I have PTSD and bi polar depression. Can anyone advise me what is happening here.
I think your ortho surgeon is correct in that your pain is coming from osteoarthritis. Most people don't understand how incredibly painful arthritis can become until it happens to themselves. I have it in my hips and it feels exactly the same way you describe - as if a flamethrower was shooting from my hips to my heels.
I don't think your arthritis is a result of the retained hardware. That's all buried in new bone by now and actually makes your leg stronger. Arthritis is just the unfortunate long-term result of bone injury. In addition to the gabapentin, are you taking any anti-inflammatories? That's the first line of defense for arthritis pain. A Cox-II inhibitor like Celebrex may help you out if you can get them in the UK.
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