Arthritis Community
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1175033 tn?1492204828

Early Osteoarthritis

I am 26 and have had joint degeneration in the facets of my cervical spine that has been visible on x-ray since I was 19. I just recently found out about this when I got another x-ray done, and the findings stated it was compared to an x-ray from 2002 which showed degeneration. Why didnt any one tell me? My doctors just said my x-rays were normal,  but how can this be normal for someone that was 19 at the time?

Since I found this out I have been doing more research on my history, and I have arthritis in my hips as well. When I was born, my hips were underdeveloped and dislocated. My mom always tells me this story about the doctors telling her to put 3 or so diapers on me to support everything while I was getting more strength in my hips. I went to Shriners hospital when I was 13ish, and one of the doctors there told me that I could need hip replacements by the age of 35. I didnt want to believe him, but now I starting to realize why he said that.

I also have noticed reoccurring pains in alot of my joints along with stiffness and muscle spasms. I also have weird bone growths, on my ankle, heel, toe joints, finger joints, Im too young for all this.  
My sed rate always comes back normal. My genes were tested for ankylosing spondylitis  marker because my dad I guess has that, but Im negative.
Any insite and coping skills you could pass on would be great, I cant tolerate any anti-informatory meds due to stomach problems so that makes pain management difficult.
Thanks for reading!  Stacey    
3 Responses
1193998 tn?1265121197
Hi Stacey,

I'm sorry you're having so much pain at such a young age! I've had rheumatoid arthritis since age 5 and have had both hips replaced - obviously for a different reason from yours, but it really did improve my quality of life.

One of my cousin's daughters had the hip deformity from birth as well, and spent much of her babyhood in a huge cast. She took ballet which I think helped stave off the inevitable, but she too will eventually need implants.

It's very possible that your hip deformity is the source of your other aches and pains. It throws off your gait and your spinal alignment, causing pain and stress in other parts of your body.

Ask for a referral to a pain management specialist. These lovely people are willing to try a wide variety of methods to help you with your pain, which your doctor may be unaware of or reluctant to try. This could include physical therapy, occupational therapy, acupuncture, ultrasound therapy, massage, pain patches, muscular injections (really not that painful!) to ease muscle spasms, and more.

I had my first hip replacement at 37, my second at 40. Relatively young, but I'm very, very glad I did it. I know people young than I who've had it done, and they agree it's the best thing they ever did. I had terrible low back pain and sciatic nerve pain until the hips were replaced, now it's pretty much gone. :)

Hang in there!
1175033 tn?1492204828
Thanks for your reply, I feel better about my future knowing life will be better after hip replacement.  I asked the doctor at Shriner's "so does this mean I cant be a hula dancer?" he said probably not. He was nice about it but I just never really believed him. I just thought how would he know how I will be when I'm 35?
1193998 tn?1265121197
Sure you can do the hula! I've done hula on a couple vacations to Hawaii! ;)  You can do just about anything you want as long as it's not high impact - no jumping or long distance running, for example. You can walk, hike, bike, do low impact aerobic exercise, yoga (carefully - certain positions you'll want to avoid), tai chi, swim, light weight training, etc. You'll probably be told not to lift anything heavier than 20 or 30 pounds, and to be careful to avoid falls. After my hip surgeries, I think my toughest task was to remember not to cross my legs at the knee. :)

When and if you have children, that'll be a bridge you cross when you come to it. I would say try to hold off having your hips done until you're done having kids, but I know it can be done afterward. I've had two children and when they got to a certain weight, I couldn't lift them, but by the time they're 20 lbs. they can climb just about anywhere they need to go. [grin]

You're going to be fine. Contact me anytime. You might want to check out the message boards at creakyjoints.org - really nice folks over there, too!
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