confusing arthritis diagnosis

sharonrose Member Posts: 2
I have been diagnosed with having oesteoarthritis, which has affected my knee quite badly. Iv had an arthroscopy done which revealed arthritis behind the knee, which will inevitably result in a full replacement. However, several other joints are affected with pain and swelling with real bad flare-ups. I havesuffered with this condition for the past 5 years and it seems to be getting worse. I have had blood tests done which have come back normal. How reliable are these blood tests, and is it possible the results are wrong. My podiatrist is concerned, as my condition is not fully characteristic of arthritis. sharon


  • traluvie
    traluvie Member Posts: 2,579
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sharon..

    Hope you don't mind , but i saw your post and just wanted to say something regarding your bloods..
    I too have OA in my knees, but i also was experiencing swelling and pain in other joints.. My Gp referred me to a rheumatologist who suspected my symptoms were consistent with RA.. when my blood results came back and it showed no inflammation or RF factor(which is what they look for in rheumatoid arthritis) ultrasound was normal and so were xrays.. it was only through bone scan which showed inflammation around various joints and confirmed my OA in knees..I now have been labelled as having some sort of inflammatory arthritis just not sure what.. :?:
    So regarding your question.. Bloods are not 100 percent reliable in diagnosisng arthritis..Sounds like you need further investigation.. referral to rheumatologist who can then investigate further..
    Wish you well
  • tillytop
    tillytop Member Posts: 3,460
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Sharon and welcome to the forum!

    Like Traluvie, I am a forum member, not a member of the helpline team but wanted to say "hello" and sorry you are struggling so much.

    As Traluvie has said, blood tests alone cannot diagnose/rule out inflammatory arthritis so, if this is a concern, the best thing would be to ask your GP to refer you to a rheumatologist for further investigations.

    I know someone from the helpline team will reply to your message soon but you might also like to post your message on the "Living with Arthritis" (LWA) forum cos most people look there regularly and I am sure you will get some helpful replies.

    Thinking of you.

    Tilly xxx
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,187
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Sharon,

    Thank you for your enquiry to Helplines. And thank you to Tilly and Traluvie. Getting a thorough diagnosis is tricky at times. The concern of the podiatrist may well need to be mentioned to the GP (on paper is likely to be helpful). And quite often the quicker referral is to a musculoskeletal assessment clinic where the senior physiotherapists see people and can order further investigations and refer onto specialists. Referral to some rheumatology clinics may be slower, but see what the GP has to say perhaps.

    Sometimes a key word that the rheumatologists are often looking for is evidence of synovitis - the kind of joint inflammation caused by immune system problems. If you do see a physiotherapist it may well be worth asking them whether they feel that the other sore areas are more like osteoarthritis or have different characteristics.

    Applying self management techniques - doing plenty of gentle exercise, watching your weight and taking pain killers as prescribed are likely to be worth using with all kinds of arthritis even if the diagnosis is uncertain.

    I hope that is helpful

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