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'instant' diagnosis?

tjtopstjtops Posts: 3
Hi...to my shock, my doctor made an 'instant' diagnosis of OA in my ankles/feet yesterday. This was based purely on my description of a few months of pretty much constant pain on movement (alleviated by rest) and I had no other tests of any kind. There is no swelling or deformity of my ankle joints....... On reading these and other forums, most people seem to have had further examinations by specialists and/or blood tests, Xrays etc before diagnosis. I am a (very active and still working) 62-year-old.....not overweight and with a reasonably healthy diet.
My doctor was EXTREMELY short of time and I am now worried that I have indeed had a 'proper' diagnosis.....all he did was flex one of my feet. It has hit me like a bombshell because for one thing, my work depends on my ability to walk considerably distances, stand for long periods etc...
Do you have any advice?


  • Boomer13Boomer13 Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    His diagnosis should be supported by a basic x-ray, IMHO. No harm in this, and if any joint deterioration is visible, the pattern can suggest the type of arthritis. This is easy and not expensive to the health system.

    I'm not a Helpline professional. Just a normal forum member. My experience has lead me to be sceptical of quick diagnoses and over-confident doctors.

    Best wishes,
  • tjtopstjtops Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for that, Anna....I have to say that this was my reaction as well (when I got over the shock!)....but how to get one?? (An X ray)......tricky one that....I have to wait 4 weeks just for another appointment to see this particular doctor to discuss the rest of the issues for which we ran out of time :cry: ....!!!
  • Boomer13Boomer13 Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Is your doctor approachable enough that you could ask for an X-ray? You could perhaps frame it in terms of wanting to know how much damage there is to the joint, given what you need to do at work? Given your work needs, I don't think it's unreasonable to request an xray, and you wouldn't offend an ego by seemingly questioning a diagnosis.

    Another way to frame your request would be to ask for a baseline X-ray and so that you can monitor the effect of your work-required walking/being on your feet is having on your ankles. This may be a little lame, but I'm hoping my ideas might trigger more ideas for you and you'll come up with something brilliant :D

    Alternatively, you could seek a second opinion and merely request an X-ray as part of that.

    Best wishes,
  • helpline_teamhelpline_team Posts: 1,935
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear tjtops,

    Thanks for your post to Helplines. I'm sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. I'm afraid it is possible to be diagnosed (with osteoarthritis) in certain circumstances without x-ray. But what may make a difference is the kind of on-going support that follows the diagnosis.

    If practical problems propelled you to see the doctor, I wonder how are they suggesting those are supported. What's been offered for pain and stiffness? Also was there any time for you to react to the news and have some emotional support I wonder?

    A referral to a musculo skeletal clinic is often helpful, as then physiotherapy, self mangagement and advice is provided. If upon follow up the situation is not improving, there may be options the physiotherapist may discuss.

    I wonder whether you might find some information helpful? You'd be most welcome to ring us on our free phone, or email [email protected] with your name and address and we can send you further information.

    I hope that's helpful

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