Well, a week ago I went for a consultation with the knee surgeon.
He never introduced himself, but I think the receptionist referred to him as something like Mr Magg. I was asked what the problem was, before he wiggled and bent my knee for a couple of minutes. Next, he to consulted my x-ray and MRI scan, before turning to me with his thoughts.
My knee is worn, and there is definite evidence of cartilage damage, but it is not so bad that it needs to be replaced yet. He showed me that there is a distinct gap between the bones of the joint, so I am not rubbing bone to bone.
Mr Magg (or whatever the spelling is) sensed my confusion. I asked how I could be in such continued pain?
There was the obvious “Perhaps you have a low pain threshold” to which my response was that the knee began to give me trouble almost 25 years ago so this wasn’t a sudden thing, and I have managed to mask a lot of the pain for quite a while.
I was then given chapter and verse on when he would be willing to give me a new knee, and then gave me some more positive, if surprising, thoughts.
He believes I have inflammation within the joint.
Then the diagnosis leapt into the possibility of Rheumatoid inflammation, especially as several of my joints are painful.
I pointed out that I was told I did not have any markers for Rheumatoid arthritis when tested over 10 years ago.
Mr Magg ignored this and said I needed to use an anti-inflammatory, rather than paracetamol to treat the pain. These would actually treat the issue rather than covering it up with pain killers. I said I react to ibuprofen because of a stomach condition.
Once more he was not impressed and suggested there were ways around this.
Anyway, in the meantime he said he would perform yet another arthroscopy (third one on this knee) to clear up and trim the cartilage, as well as looking around for any other issues. While in there he will also take a biopsy of the inflammation to confirm if it is Rheumatoid.
Now, I was extremely happy that my knee didn’t need to be replaced, but the possibility that I have been suffering for many years from the Rheumatoid arthritis variation, rather than Osteoarthritis was a bit of a shock.
If he is correct, it is possible that I might not have needed the hip replaced.
With this news flashing around in my mind, he told me the keyhole surgery would be sorted out quickly, and I would have a letter with the date quite soon.
Back home I organised an appointment with my doctor to let him know the situation, and get his views.
In the mean-time I now have the date for the arthroscopy, and that will be in the last week of March.
At least that gives plenty of time to get over the quite minor operation before going on holiday in May.
Of course, the news also meant I had to tell my travel insurance company. I didn’t have to pay any more, but any issues with my knee won’t be covered for our cruise next month.
There was also another bit of annoyance when I managed to catch a bug (or flu) within a couple of days of being in the hospital. Amazingly Deb has been suffering from the same bug since the New Year and I avoided it. Now with Deb almost back to normal, I catch it.
Luckily I will be over it before we go away next month.
More news to come very soon.