I have been dreading writing this post because it makes my fear all the more real. My 14-year-old son has been suffering from knee pain, lower back pain, and pain in his heels. This coming from the kid who hasn't taken a sick-day from school since the day he stepped foot in kindergarten. He started high school last month, is in marching band, and on the J.V. Cross Country team. He has grown a lot the past year and my secret hope is that these are just growing pains, but my brain is saying differently. Is it normal for a teenage boy who has been running his whole life to suddenly have knee pain while running despite wearing top-of-the-line Nike running shoes? Is it normal for a teenage boy after sitting for an hour at the computer to limp when he gets up because of stiffness? Is it normal for a teenager to complain of back pain after standing for a couple of hours for a marching band rehearsal? Is it normal to walk around like the Rice Krispy kid, popping and cracking with each step? I'm inclined to say no. It is common for AS (Anklosing Spondylitis) to show up in boys during their teenage years and this is my greatest fear. My sister has AS. I have arthritis in my back along with all my other joints so the Rheumatologist is reluctant to call it PsA, thinking it may be AS or perhaps a combination of the two. I call it PsA with Spondylitis. Maddie's latest diagnosis is PsA, although she's never had any psoriasis. Anyway, these are all Spondyloarthropathies, close cousins if you will, sharing the same HLA-B27 antigen. It's time to get my son tested, and probably my other two kids as well.
I will call today to set up an appointment.