DR ELLIE CANNON: Why are my knees aching so badly after I got two new hips?

DR ELLIE CANNON: Why are my knees aching so badly after I got two new hips?
DR ELLIE CANNON: Why are my knees aching so badly after I got two new hips?

I recently had two hip replacements for osteoarthritis. Every morning, my whole body hurts when I wake up and it feels as if someone has hit my knees with a baseball bat. I didn’t have knee pain before the operation. Has surgery made things worse?

Arthritis is the most common form of joint pain, but there are many types of the condition.

Osteoarthritis is the one doctors see most because it develops with age due to wear and tear. It mostly affects the joints that carry a lot of weight, such as the hips and knees – and the fingers, because we use them so much.

It’s highly likely that a patient with severe osteoarthritis in the hips also has knee arthritis, which can cause terrible pain.

Osteoarthritis is the one doctors see most because it develops with age due to wear and tear. It mostly affects the joints that carry a lot of weight, such as the hips and knees – and the fingers, because we use them so much.

Osteoarthritis is the one doctors see most because it develops with age due to wear and tear. It mostly affects the joints that carry a lot of weight, such as the hips and knees – and the fingers, because we use them so much.

The knee is more commonly affected than the hip, but osteoarthritis causes pain mostly during or after activity. Pain in the morning suggests a different type of arthritis.

Morning symptoms are more common in inflammatory-type arthritis diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Or there could be a totally different problem, such as a tear within the joint, or bursitis – inflammation of fluid in the knee.

Aches and pains throughout the body can be a sign of Vitamin D deficiency, fibromyalgia or, less frequently, thyroid disease. A GP or physiotherapist would be well placed to ascertain what is causing a specific knee pain that happens in the morning. A thorough examination and X-rays could help to confirm a diagnosis.

Blood tests may also be worthwhile to check for other deficiencies that can worsen conditions such as arthritis.

I’ve been suffering bowel problems for six months and had a colonoscopy last month, which showed I have several pockets on the side of my colon. I suffer terrible constipation and other digestive issues. I can’t enjoy a meal without worrying how my stomach will react. I am 66.

Bulges or pockets that form in the wall of the large intestine, or colon, are not uncommon as we age. When they cause symptoms, such as stomach pain and unusual bowel habits, doctors call it diverticular disease.

    More from Dr Ellie Cannon for The Mail on Sunday...

A lot of people have these pockets without the symptoms. Experts think they are more likely to cause problems for people who have a low-fibre diet, or who smoke or are obese.

Doctors may recommend increasing fibre – found in wholegrains, vegetables and fruit – in the diet, to soften the stools and regulate digestion. But it’s important to do it slowly. A sudden increase can lead to flatulence and bloating.

Adults should aim to have 30g of fibre every day – roughly two slices of toast in the morning, a portion of wholegrains such as beans or rice at lunch, and another portion with vegetables at dinner, as well as fruit as a snack during the day. This will help prevent diverticular disease.

The benefits can take a good few weeks to be noticeable. But it’s essential to maintain this high-fibre diet, and drink plenty of water to help the fibre make its way through the bowel.

If vegetables seem hard to digest, focus on foods such as low-sugar, high-fibre breakfast cereals, wholegrain breads, potatoes in their skins and pulses including lentils and chickpeas.

As well as dietary changes, a GP may recommend bulk-forming laxatives, available over the counter, to treat constipation. These will help stools move through

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