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Hemochromatosis

Extreme pain in ankle and lower back

03/28/2008

Question:

I am a 61 year old male and have hemochromatosis as do both my children. I am de-ironed and have been a regular blood donor for about ten years. My GP keeps track of my condition.

Due to many injuries to my ankle I have had five operations including a total ankle replacement, late 2006, and a follow-up operation to remove two osteophytes, late 2007. Since the third operation in 2000 my "always-healthy" back became very painful. I suspect this is due to my awkward and unsymmetrical way of walking - I limp heavily - in fact lately I cannot walk without a stick or a crutch.

I have seen all sorts of specialists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, etc., etc. Nobody seems to have an answer. When I mention "Hemochromatosis" some may make a note about it whilst others merely stare at me blankly!

I used to be extremely active in physical training and sport. Now I can hardly move and have become overweight, having picked up about 15 kg. To cope with pain, I usually have to take an anti-inflammatory daily plus some painkillers whenever pain gets out of hand. My stomach linings sometimes seem to get inflamed from all this medication! I am scared that my present mild depression will get the better of me if I cannot adopt a more positive attitude.

I have been reading articles on hemochromatosis over many years. Lately I have found mention that joint pains may sometimes be attributed to this condition.

I am pretty desperate - PLEASE ADVISE WHAT ELSE I SHOULD DO.

Answer:

I certainly cannot invoke hemochromatosis as an aggravating factor in your situation.  It usually affects the hands and it usually affects people who are not de-ironed, that is, people who do not have their disease under control.

For more information:

Go to the Hemochromatosis health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mark   Wurster, MD Mark Wurster, MD
Former Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University