Degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition of the joints.
It has been well over a year and a half since my ankle foot surgery. I had to re-learn how to walk again, how to depend on family and crutches for the past year. I was literally stuck at home with nothing to do but watch television, physical therapy, lots of doctors appointment and manage my pain.
I have a condition called Arthritis. I’ve had this disease for more than ten plus years, learned to manage the pain by masking it with over the counter pain medications. I had no idea I even had arthritis until I went into the emergency room in the year 2011 when my left knee was severely in pain. I’ve always wondered why this keeps happening to me. Well, low and behold now I know.
In order to understand why I had an ankle-foot surgery. First, let’s try to understand a little info about arthritis. Arthritis is very common among people, but not well understood.
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes, and races can and do have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.
Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years, but may progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.
There are different types of arthritis: degenerative, inflammatory, infectious, and metabolic. For my condition, I have degenerative. In other terms, it’s called Osteoarthritis (OA).
It’s not easy as people might think to manage a chronic pain on a regular daily basis. It sucks that we have to take pain medications just to have a semi-normal life and to try to be active as much as possible. My disease has affected me from my knees to my lower back, hands mainly my wrists down to my ankles and feet.
My disease spread throughout my entire body, taking one joint after another to the point where I had to get surgery on one of my foot (right side) and infused it with my ankle. It took a whole year and a half to almost walk without crutches. Almost!