Avascular Necrosis and other fun joint news
With my MALS under control, I have been able to establish myself with a new orthopedic doctor well versed in avascular necrosis. We have xrayed the shoulders, the knees, the hips and waiting on hand X-rays and a left knee MRI. We have also done MRIs on the shoulders, the right knee, and the right hip. So far avascular necrosis is not showing in the joints but I have developed osteoarthritis in my right shoulder that already has a shoulder replacement. The OA is in the AC joint. A joint I was shocked to learn is one of three joints in your shoulder. Go figure. So we will start injections with pain medications into the AC joint to help with the pain. We also found out that I may be looking at a new shoulder replacement as mine seems to be loose and a piece is worn down to 1mm from 4mm. I have been waiting on the surgeon to let me know the decision and have been so anxious over it. The good news is it does not seem to be an immediate problem and I may be able to wait it out to replace the shoulder replacement. It made it to almost nine years. The surgeon said it would be time to replace it most likely. I will make sure to keep everyone updated.
I have learned that my right knee is pretty far gone with arthritis. The doctors are determining whether it is rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. I have to get bloodwork for RA and a hand x-ray to see if that shows any changes in the hands as they have been affected by something just not sure what.
I am really thankful that I have finally been able to get established with a new orthopedic doctor to help monitor all these joint issues. The best news so far is nothing is showing up that needs to be replaced and we can control my pain with injections. So far we have injected the right hip twice and will get it injected a third time in two weeks. We are starting gel injections into the right knee as well. Once we know what is going on with the left knee after the mri we can start treatment on that knee as well.
The next joints to mri are the ankles. I am not looking forward to those. I knew I needed surgery on the left ankle about eight years ago and I just let it go. I am hoping that the issue healed itself and has not caused any damage. So far the ankles do not bother me like the other joints do but sometimes my left ankle gets stuck in place and I have to wait it out and slowly move it to get it unstuck. I am optimistic the ankles will be healthy as pilates and yoga has been good for my ankles.
We are unable to operate on the hip as the doctor said if he fixes the torn labrum in the hip he would guarantee I would need a hip replacement within six months. He has seen it happen before. That is how my shoulder died, after a labrum repair. That is why the joint injections have been crucial in getting me back to the gym and able to work out. With two injections, I am able to lift weights and do cardio on the elliptical nearly pain-free. I have been upping my weights on my legs and my hip was sore but I also do pilates and I did hips this week as well. That hurt! I am learning what is ok to do and what workouts to back off on so I do not hurt myself. I am thankful the hip injections helped so I can get back to working out!
Overall, I am looking at the shoulder replacement revision and just lost of injections in my future. I am hoping in the next two years I can do stem cell treatments. Hopefully in the next year but my goal is two years from now. I have been told this may be the best option for me as the procedure has shown great success in other individuals. If my RA tests come back positive then I will get referred to a rheumatologist. For now, I just manage my pain and keep moving.
Wishing you all the best.