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Please tell me about crepitus...

(9 Posts)
pamplemousse Sun 07-Sep-08 21:56:52

My mum has been diagnosed with it.
I have googled and read what wikipedia has to say but am now wondering if he's just softening the blow to tell her its osteoarthritis?
She's 60, if that helps.

emma1977 Sun 07-Sep-08 22:06:22

Crepitus is not a diagnosis, it is a clinical sign that is elicited on examination.

The most common cause is osteoarthritis, but it can indicate joint inflammation, a loose particle inside the joint or cartilage damage.

pamplemousse Mon 08-Sep-08 15:31:15

Thanks Emma.
Wouldn't a differential diagnosis of the things you listed give a diagnosis though? SUrely some are injuries, some acute and some chronic and questioning would give an answer? Or am I over simplifying?

JudgeNutmeg Mon 08-Sep-08 16:20:58

I have osteoarthritis and one of the classic signs is crepitus. My Dr said that loads and loads of people get it in their 60's and it's not really a big deal. I find that taking a neurofen and a supplement really helps if I'm having a bad day as well as trying to keep the noisy joints moving.

Hope your Mum isn't feeling too bad. I went on a bit of a downer when I was diagnosed as I had lost a lot of weight through running. I've found other ways to exercise now and feel a lot better and I'm getting the extra weight I carry off slowly which will help too.

notcitrus Mon 08-Sep-08 17:16:44

Crepitus is a pain in the neck (sorry...)
I've had it since I was 17 (15 years now), with no other obvious symptoms apart from stiffness and pain to go with it.

Every consultant and physio I saw insisted I must have been in an accident to get whiplash, but I hadn't. Eventually I saw an osteopath for other reasons, who was fascinated, figured out that it was related to me having no sense of balance, got me standing and sitting better, and it's been reasonably under control since as long as I keep my neck warm.

So it could be related to muscular rather than joint problems.

emma1977 Mon 08-Sep-08 17:44:22

Pamplemousse- You are absolutely right- piecing together all of the information about how the joint got the way it did, someone's past medical history and examination findings would help to establish a diagnosis. OA is reasonably easy to diagnose if the joint is really creaky and it fits the typical pattern (>50, usually knees, hips, shoulders, fingers). If xrays are required there is usually evidence of the joint space being narrowed (or even absent if really bad) and extra bony nobbles around the edges.

pamplemousse Mon 08-Sep-08 22:12:11

Thanks people
Spoke to my mum and mentioned OA to gauge her reaction, she seems fine with it and seems to think herself that thats what it could be leading to. She is a tai chi and qi gong addict so the gentle exercise bit seems sorted, and she walks her dogs every day. She has been looking into supplements, as have I, and is taking a glucosamine/zinc thingy which seems to help. Also she takes paracetamol when its bad like when she's overdone it in the garden or something.
Thanks again for your experiences and help

emma1977 Mon 08-Sep-08 22:29:54

You'd be hard pushed to find a 60 year old without any OA whatsoever!

It really important for her to keep active.

Some people find Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplements helpful. Occasional painkillers are fine too.

pamplemousse Mon 08-Sep-08 22:32:01

Thanks Emma you have been v helpful And I'll tell mum that as I didn't realise it.

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