On-going Tendon related issues since the late '90's and my introduction to Levaquin and Intranasal Corticosteroids

by Mas

I wish I had kept a diary/resume of inexplicable tendon related injuries while battling chronic acute sinusitis. I've had 3 sinus surgeries since '95, including the most recent in 2008 -- the very invasive Caldwel-Luc Procedure.

The only antibiotic that didn't destroy my GI tract was Levaquin. I was happy to pay for it. And, of course, the intranasal corticosteroids they prescribe for sinusitis.

I've been a jock all my life -- that is if you include the rigors a ballerina goes through in training. I was dancing semi-professionally at age 9. Swam competitively. Cycled competitively. Rode dressage, competitively... the rest of my sports were mostly just for fun.

I "bounced" after every mishap. Stayed very fit. In the late '90's, tendons started popping with little or no impact. Paint the kitchen, blow both rotators. Step ever so slightly wrong, blow an ankle. The people I worked with started saying I shouldn't leave the house without wearing full hockey gear. I couldn't understand it.

I only recently became aware of the risk of tendon injury associated with levaquin, especially if combined with steroid therapy.

Sinuses were acting up again. ENT gave me a steroid shot to quiet my allergies and Levaquin.

I always read the warnings. After reading the NEW warning that comes with the Lev prescription, I flashed back to several trips to the orthopedist/ER for sudden tendon inflammation without any trauma.

One particular incident: I had just spent 10 days in bed with acute sinusitis and pneumonia(secondary to a sinus surgery). I was cleared to go back to work the next day and very restless to do so. I walked into my kitchen to order Chinese delivery. As I hung up the phone, my right foot felt funny. I shook it gently. 18 minutes later, I could not walk.

A friend literally carried me into the ER. They held me for 13 hours, suspecting Deep Vein Thrombosis. Followed up the next day with the orthopedist. He moved my foot and said, "It's like you have no tendons." 6 weeks in a boot -- no "real" diagnosis.

Then, tenosynovitis in my left wrist. Custom made splint for 5 months. Re-occurred in 2 months. No trauma. The second round with the wrist, I drove directly to my orthopedist.

Receptionist said, "no walk-ins." Called the Managing Director/Head Nurse to throw me out. I simply put my wrist on the counter and she yelled, "Xray!!!"

So: My question?

I have never been diagnosed with "tendonitis."
Chronic bursitis, sciatica, tenosynovitis, hypermobile

I ache from my jaws to my toes and have given up. Aren't all these issues tendon related? And have you heard of them being levaquin related?

Ortho sent me to neuro who sent me to neuro-muscular cleveland clinic (diagnosis cervical/thoracic radiculitis) Another tendon related episode: Ortho sends me to Rheumatologist: Fybromyalgia -- negative for Sjogren's.

I am not buying any of it. I am 5'7"s, size 2, and as an athlete, I've been taught to move threw the pain, not to give into it. I appear to be fully "intact." I just wish I could get a night's sleep without waking up without one hip or the other or foot or shoulder burning in pain.




Joshua Answers:

Hi Mas. I wish you had kept a diary too.

So right off the bat, here's my theory of a timeline:

1. Moderately to Seriously Gluten Intolerant, most likely Vitamin D deficient too. Thus the chronic acute sinusitis. Unless you know something I don't, that's a likely scenario.

2. Which leads to surgeries.

3. Which gets you antibiotics. I assume that you had Levaquin with some/all of those?

4. Which gets you all your tendon and connective tissue issues. Maybe you haven't been diagnosed with Tendonitis but that doesn't mean anything.

You have multiple connective tissue damage issues. Levaquin and the quinolone class of antibiotics are BAD NEWS for connective tissue, from tendon to joint to internal organ to brain.

Technically you do have everything you've been diagnosed with, but that's not the whole story. Sure you have 'cervical/thoracic radiculitis', but WHY? All your pain and problem doesn't just show up out of the blue for no reason.

So I could ask a bunch of quesitons, like:

A. When did you have antibiotics including Levaquin,

B. Were you already hyperflexible or did they just start calling you that?

C. How's your digestion historically

and on and on.

Ideas? I'd say FIRST read through the Levaquin Tendonitis Treatment page

The Levaquin page.

THEN ask more questions. (and answer the three above)

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for On-going Tendon related issues since the late '90's and my introduction to Levaquin and Intranasal Corticosteroids

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Jan 29, 2019
Response to Mas
by: NE miller

Dear Mas (you are a ballerina? wow!),

I just wanted to say your story about treatment for a sinus infection in the 90's with levaquin leading to tendon swelling and ruptures in all the places you describe-ankles to jaw--reminds me very much of my own experience, also beginning in the late 1990's, in New York and then stretching to London and Oxford, England.

It all began with a dental infection. I had been a tennis player, a jazz dancer, a gymnast, a swimmer, and led an active, althetic, performative life before then. At 24, one year after the inflammation began in my joints and tendons, I was diagnosed with sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis. Mystery on top of mystery, as my symptoms worsened--from carpal tunnel to inflammation of the joints ranging from the knees to the wrists, the elbows to the toes (I learned we have dozens of joints, as almost all of them were affected!).

I now think I know the beginning, and the end of this, since in March, 2018, in almost mirror fashion (20 years later) after being treated with every RA medication (chemotherapy and biotherapy in the book, only one medication made a dent, and bone and tendon damage has been ongoing) and corticosteroids in all forms--nasal to topical and IV to injection to intramuscular, I was prescribed levaquin (again) for a sinus infection.

It must have been at least the third time I was given the drug, but if I could dig up every record in every office-dentist to internist between 20 years) I have a feeling I was prescribed a quinolone drug some five or six times, most likely corresponding with RA "flares" and increased damage as well as complaints of dizziness, nausea, anxiety, and later tingling, insomnia, photosenstivity etc.

My own feeling is doctors and dentists were prescribing Levaquin willy-nilly in the 90's, and with little more caution in the 2000's leading to ongoing exposure of toxicity. Finally information, warnings, and lawsuits are catching up with this body-destroying, life-levelling drug.

As I have only just put all these bits together and am still processing the damage (and likely misdiagnosis) of decades, I just want to say for me, it began with allergies too, as a child (and not to gluten--that has been tested dozens of times--cutting out gluten is helpful, but no solution; the distress will continue).

Look into chemical sensitivities, and also a problem with fluorine/fluoride, in water (were you in NYC, dancing? that is where my symptoms first arose), in toothpaste, and in a number of other medications and processes (deboning of chicken!). I am now going through thorough allergy testing to find out what my allergies really are--clearly steroids make matters worse, a lot worse, but what is the cause, is the question.

For some help, I recommend the film "STINK" about a man whose wife was diagnosed with cancer at 32--he found numerous links between chemicals in shampoos, makeups, sprayed on clothing, and immune response, including cancer, and autoimmune response.

Now I consider my immune response as reacting to something alien which does not belong in the system, not my body attacking itself.

If I can find out what my cells have been attacking--what thing is there that should not be there (and excessive fluoride is one of those things) and what interactions could be happening between your body, skin, etc. and the environment (in my case fragrance is one, but there are quite a few..), then there may be a silver lining to all this misery and fragility.

Some foods will calm this reaction down, and I welcome those wholesome approaches (I come from a family of mediterreanen cooks), but recovery (and I am by no means recovered--just rehabilitating from achilles tendon reattachment surgery in November--tendon tore in hiphop class, so I was dancing too!) is multi-dimensional, and not a snap (no pun intended!).

I am focusing on all the elements--food (what we eat), water (what we drink), air (what we breathe), shelter (where we live--molds, formaldehyde formulations in furnishings etc). Best of luck. N.E.M, Phd.

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