Discussions By Condition: Muscle conditions

Unexplained, persistent, 24/7 wide-spread joint pain

Posted In: Muscle conditions 4 Replies
  • Posted By: GregasGP
  • October 6, 2008
  • 01:43 PM

Hi all,

To say I am desperate is an understatement. I'm looking for some advice and possible treatment options here.

Here's a little bit of history. I'm a 25 year old male and have always been physically active and fit. Never had any joint or muscle issues in the past until last September 2007 when I began having ankle pain, both ankles affected. I have been training for the Royal Air Force and was accepted in January 2008 to begin Officer Training in the Regiment - sadly that's all been shot down with my pain and unexplained condition and my dream is destroyed.

I sparined my ankles back in 2006, moderate sprains playing sport, but all seemed to heal OK. Then unexpectedly pain began in both, mild at first and only when resting not when playing sport etc. It gradually got worse and then in Jan 2008 I had to have an MRI scan. It showed some diffuse thickening of ligaments consistent with chronic ankle sprains, but no other pathology. Gave physio and prolotherapy injections a shot, seemed great for the ligaments and no tenderness there but still constant pain.

Finally opted for surgery in April 2008 where I underwent an ankle arthroscopy on left ankle. The surgeon found a small cartilage tear, still intact membrane, and performed a microfracture procedure. Was on cructhes for 4 weeks as minor damage and followed rehab to a tee. Fast forward to July and scan shows all is healed but still in constant pain.

IN JUNE, things took a turn for the worse. I woke up overnight with upper body joint pain that has progressed to all my joints. Now I have constant 24/7 pain in my wrists, ankles, knees, elbows, thumbs, index fingers, back and hips. It never ceases and is there on a daily basis. There is no swelling or redness or warmth, but a lot of pain and stiffness and creptitis in my joints. It never relinquishes and no meds seem to help. I have been to see various specialists and haven't a clue what to do.

SUMMARY OF SYMPTOMS:
Chronic pain in all joints for the last 4 months
Pain often migrates, worse in ankle joints one day and then ok and worse in knees the next. Differing pattern of pain.
NO swelling/redness/warmth/sensitivity to touch
Persistent pain and stiffness with crepitis too
No associated IBS/sickness etc

TESTS:
Two blood tests - ESR/CRP/ANA/RA/Serum calcium levels all completely normal.
MRI scans - Knees show mild case of chondromalcia Patellae but very mild and wouldn't cause constant pain. Ankles are apparently in perfect condition. No other damage in joints/arthritis
Isotope Bone Scan - perfect with normal tracer throughout and no hotspots.
Physical examinations - By physiotherapist, rheumatologist, chiropractor, podiatrist, ortheopedic surgeon, GP and pain management specialist. No ideas to to cause of unexplained pain. Physical examinations normal. No trigger points for Fibromyalgia etc.

TREATMENTS:
Diclofenac - No joy. All other NSAIDs have the same nil effect
Anti-depressents - Dosulepin and Amitriptyline. No joy with these either
Codeine/Co-Dydramol/Paracetamol - No relief at all
Physio/Various supplements - Glucosomine/HA/chondrotin etc and anti-inflammatory supplements with no success
Biomagnetic therapy and LED therapy No effect either
Prolotherapy injections - no pain relief but has repaired my ligaments very well in sprained ankle

I met with the pain management specialist who suggested I look into BuTrans patches and an anti-convulsant med like Pregabalin. Is this is a good idea?

Any ideas on diagnosis of this dehabilitating condition/ I'm finding at the age of 25 that my life is falling apart, I feel worried about the future, depressed and in all honesty quite suicidal at times.

Hoping you can help.

Thanks all

Greg

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4 Replies:

  • Just some amateur comments:For more than ten years, I have suffered joint and muscle pain and severe muscle weakness. All medical tests were negative.I then found that my pain was related to whatever part of my body had been more in use and then I found that eating more and more often than other folk was a satisfactory preventative measure. Depending on how large and how late my evening dinner is, I will get up any time between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. for my first breakfast and then go back to bed, having a second breakfast when I get up for the day. I have problems if lunch isn't soon after 12 noon. Depending on activity, I might then get through to dinner without a snack, but, if, say I am climbing mountains, I need food every 3 hours or so. Even explaining this 'solution' to the doctors has not prompted them to identify an investigative strategy to pin-point the actual cause of my problems.
    Mountain Goat 13 Replies
    • October 7, 2008
    • 10:05 AM
    • 0
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  • Many people with IBD start out with jointpain only to find out that they infact do have IBD. For others it is the other way around. If you haven't had your intestines checked out you should at least have a barrium x-ray. You might also wan to look into other types of arthritis, such as palindromic arthritis. Take care, Kiera
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 7, 2008
    • 10:03 PM
    • 0
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  • hi greg. how are you now? are there any developments?. we're on the same boat. i am 23 female who exactly has the same case as yours. I hope that anyone who can read this can help us. God blesssaz
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 7, 2008
    • 01:29 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Just some amateur comments:For more than ten years, I have suffered joint and muscle pain and severe muscle weakness. All medical tests were negative.I then found that my pain was related to whatever part of my body had been more in use and then I found that eating more and more often than other folk was a satisfactory preventative measure. Depending on how large and how late my evening dinner is, I will get up any time between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. for my first breakfast and then go back to bed, having a second breakfast when I get up for the day. I have problems if lunch isn't soon after 12 noon. Depending on activity, I might then get through to dinner without a snack, but, if, say I am climbing mountains, I need food every 3 hours or so. Even explaining this 'solution' to the doctors has not prompted them to identify an investigative strategy to pin-point the actual cause of my problems. I know you posted this LAST YEAR. But when I read it , it was FRIGHTENINGLY similar to me. I have been experienceing Joint Pain, muscle pain, weekness, fatigue for about a year now, and am about to see a rheumetologist. .. no diagnosis ( afor sure one anyway) yet. I realized I have been eating A TON. On my good days is when I eat eat wat. On my bad days ( in the most pain, and NO energy) is when I eat regular or not a lot. I especially maxx out on sugar. I will wake up at 5 am and cant even function until I have eaten an ENTIRE BOX of chocolat chip cookies. Then when I get to work I get a cinnamin roll, and some juice. then at 1030am I eat breakfast # 3. Then at 1230 I am STARVING and eat a bug lunch, then big dinner and snacks all day. On days when I dont feel like eating much is when I have the most pain fatigue and weakness. The crazy thing is too , I havnt really gained wieght. I am 5'6" and 130 lbs. Hopefully you read this. Let me know if you ever figured out what the deal is!!!
    meubanks09 6 Replies
    • September 30, 2009
    • 06:59 PM
    • 0
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