Mixed views about X-ray report

daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
edited 20. Jul 2018, 03:02 in Living with Arthritis archive
Earlier this year I suddenly started having problems with my right knee, bad enough to think that the wait to see the GP would be justified. I was referred for X-rays of both knees (the left one was beginning to join in),and got a copy of the report last week. It notes mild loss of joint space, mild degenerative changes, and traces of fluid.That is all good news(on the arthritis spectrum that is!), but what isn't so good from my point of view is the classic conundrum that what is shown on the X-ray doesn't square with what the patient may feel. That tends to lead to the What If - I'm having this much trouble with 'mild' OA damage what happens when it progresses? Pointless speculating I know, and I need to concentrate on the good news aspect - but I'm only human!


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,429
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You are very human, in the best possible sense, daffy, and I only wish I had a half-decent answer for you.

    We all know that pain experienced doesn't necessarily bear much, if any, relationship to damage done. That's not really helpful. I still recall my worst rheumatology visit when my knees were appalling and being told, brightly, that, according to my blood tests, I was doing fine. I felt a fraud, a wimp and terrified of how I'd cope.

    I can understand the gap between pain and damage in people who don't exercise but that's not you. All that comes to mind is what I think I'd do if it were me. I'd book in to our excellent local private physio and see what she recommended. (Private because the NHS wait is 6 months here and the private one charges reasonably, listens very carefully, explains in detail, gives exercises and doesn't aim to extract more money unless the patient wants, having tried them, to book in for another session.) Sometimes we are exercising but not necessarily exercising all the right muscles to the full and they need a bit of a nudge. Sorry I can't help further.
  • jennand
    jennand Member Posts: 131
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Daffy, you are correct about X-ray results not in line with symptoms. My last knee X-rays reported moderate OA in the right knee and mild OA in the left. Yet it’s my left knee that causes me most trouble. My Rh nurse told me that she sees this a lot. In my case I get more fluid build up in the left knee which possibly causes the pain ( pressure) but the bony changes remain static ( for now). So, you’re not alone in this, but I know it can be frustrating telling someone you’re in pain, yet the X-rays don’t back this up. I think the medics understand this though.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Pain is individual, one man's agony is another's mild twinge. You feel how you feel, s*d the X-ray, that's a mere picture of what is happening, not a sentient entity. I know my knees are far worse than they were when the OA was first diagnosed, and I assume the pain levels have increased over the years, but if so it's been so gradual I haven't noticed; that or I've developed my tolerance. DD