An adult woman uses a walker while experiencing hip pain

Using a Walker Living With Psoriatic Arthritis

When I was first diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, I did stop and think about what my life would look like, what disease progression might look like, and the toll it would take on my body. I have never really taken the time to think about what might happen as I age. I would pretty much bet we have all done that at some point.

Over the 7+ years of managing life with psoriatic arthritis, the idea of potentially one day using a cane, walker, or wheelchair has passed through my mind. This fleeting thought has now become a reality.

Getting around with psoriatic arthritis and painful knees

A bad fall left me with broken bones in and around my knee. It's not healing as quickly as the doctors (and I) would like - now I'm faced again with painful thoughts about the future as the decision to use a walker for mobility is placed directly in front of me.

I have been doing physical therapy for two months now. The break has made me realize that there are situations that I have taken for granted. Walking is one of them. However, it is still slow going. I understand why because they have me doing physical therapy even though the bone has not fully healed yet. Why, may you ask?

Because of the break and significant psoriatic arthritis damage in my knee, I am looking at having a knee replacement done sometime in the future. If I need it sooner, my doctor wants that leg strengthened in case it has to happen as quickly as the bone heals.

Using a walker increased my hip pain!

It is scary to go from being in a wheelchair to using a walker for the first time. At least, it was for me. What if my legs could not support me? That was the thought that kept repeating in my mind. The question should have been, will my hip, especially the right one, endure me using the walker?

Last year I started experiencing hip pain, and I know it is from my psoriatic arthritis progression. If the doctor saw extensive damage in my knee, then it doesn't take much to believe the damage is also in my hips.

My first few steps with the walker felt terrific. I was so happy. However, along came the hip pain to deter that happiness.

Being faced with psoriatic arthritis progression

Now I am using the walker by itself. As long as I am moving, the hip pain is tolerable. Standing in one spot, holding onto the walker, my hip pain becomes more intense. Where my hips used to hurt exclusively at night - it has started making painful appearances during the day.

What is going to happen as I get older? All I can do is take it one day at a time and deal with the day as it comes. I never wanted to take much time thinking about it, but it always seems something brings things to our minds that we would rather not dwell on.

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