Xray vs Ultrasound

flowerpot Member Posts: 53
Good afternoon,

I have been suffering from what the rheumatologist calls Arthralgia for well over a year now, and I have been back and forth between my GP and the Rheumatologist and had various tests. I kicked up a fuss a few months ago as I wasn't happy with my treatment, they haven't been able to identify the cause of my pain, and the rheumatologist discharged me with treating the symptoms with anti inflammatories and pain killers, to my mind not the not the best solution. I asked to be referred again for a second opinion, and this time the Rheumatologist agreed that I shouldn't still be in pain, he sent me off for an ultrasound, I had xrays when I first went to see the GP 16 months ago they showed very little but yesterday on the ultrasound he could see inflammation on my finger joints. To my understanding ultrasounds are better at soft tissues than an xray, so would this indicate a certain type/ stage of arthritis? The closest I have found for me so far is sero negative RA, on account of morning stiffness, mouth ulcers, fatigue, and joint pain but the tests have yet to prove anything. I very much feel like I will have to drive my own treatment here, so would like to read up on anything which may possibly only show up on ultrasound but not xray before our next appointment. Do you think I should ask for another xray? :???:


  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,187
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there,

    Thanks for your enquiry to Helplines. We can't give you medical advice, so you have to get ideas from us, but not advice if that's ok. If the rheumatologist ordered the scan then it seems logical to ask their team to answer these questions. You might ask the rheumatology specialist nurse whether your scan was indicative of an inflammatory arthritis (ie immune system). If they are not sure then the next question is what they are planning to do to get the answers.

    If you are having practical problems then can they refer you to occupational therapy while they are working out what your diagnosis is?

    That might be one way to get some answers from people qualified to answer them.

    I hope that's helpful

  • flowerpot
    flowerpot Member Posts: 53
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks, I asked the doctor doing the scan and he said he couldn't make a diagnosis on the ultrasound alone beyond there was inflamation of the joints, he wouldn't even elude to where in the joints, it would have to be used in conjunction with other test results.

    I don't have access to anyone within rheumatology, I see my GP for and the consultant once every 3 - 6 months when he can fit me in. My GP is unable to refer me to an occupation therapist without the say so from the consultant who so far has been less than helpful. Work are willing to help me, but only once I have a diagnosis, I have now run out of paid sick days and used my holiday up, so feeling rather desperate.

    I will just have to hang on there until the end of September when I get to go back to see the consultant for the results :smile:
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