Xrays clear

S3ren85 Member Posts: 10
edited 24. Jul 2019, 07:17 in Chat to our Helpline Team

I was referred to the hospital for possible rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, I saw the rheumatologist consultant 3 weeks ago and he was pretty convinced it's rheumatoid arthritis and sent me for xrays and blood tests. I have just had the results of my xrays through and they are showing as 'normal' literally that's all the letter says!!

Is this normal?

I am having my blood test in a couple of weeks time, I'm severely needle phobic and have never had a needle since I was a baby, I'm now 34!! So this is a massive massive issue for me. I'm now extremely unmotivated to go through with the blood test if the xrays are clear, what if im putting myself through all of this and it's not arthritis?!

Could you please give me some advice around whether tests are usually accurate. All I know is that for at least the last 10 year's I have been suffering wirh joint pain and I am now at the stage of loosing the use of my hands when they are bad so I need help managing whatever it is I am suffering with.

Emma :)


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Emma
    Welcome to the forum sorry you are having a confusing

    time at the moment with your diagnosis. We are a very friendly and sympathetic group of people who will understand what you are going through.
    The forums are there to talk through your Arthritis and any problems you might have. The most popular forums are Living with Arthritis and Chit Chat.
    Hope all goes well for you Christine
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I am not a member of Helplines, just an ordinary forum bod.

    At its simplest osteoarthritis is diagnosed via X-ray whereas the auto-immune kinds of arthritis (of which there are a few) can only be diagnosed via a blood test as it is the bloods that reflect what is happening. Blood tests are often the key to diagnosis for so many conditions and as yet no other way has been found to extract the minute quantities required. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,687
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Emma. Like DD, I'm just an ordinary forum member with many years of both RA and OA under my belt but not a member of the Helpline team. I'm replying because it can be quiet on here at weekends.

    Personally, I wouldn't pay too much attention to the word 'normal' on the x-rays. In the early stages of arthritis, whether osteo (OA) or an autoimmune form (Mine's rheumatoid – RA – though many others are available :wink: ) it's possible for nothing much to show up on x-rays. It's much better to treat it before any permanent damage is done.

    Diagnosing autoimmune forms such as RA can be difficult which is why the rheumatologist has to use several different approaches. You can read up on it here. Just scroll down to 'diagnosis'.


    Whatever caused your fear of needles there are, unlike arthritis, several methods of curing it and I'm sure your GP would point you in the right direction. This is a sheet put out by Guys and St Thomas' hospital https://tinyurl.com/p4acwqk .With or without arthritis, I doubt you'll be able to get through life without either blood tests or injections / vaccinations so, to me, it would make sense to take this bull by the horns and get help before it begins to dominate your health issues. Good luck :) And please let us know how you get on.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,426
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Emma,

    Many thanks for posting on the Helpline Forum and I apologise for our delay in replying. I am sorry to hear you have pain in your joints which is now affecting the use of your hands. It sounds as if it has been a confusing and worrying time for you trying to get a proper diagnosis. I’m glad you have now seen a consultant rheumatologist to help ensure you receive the right diagnosis and treatment.

    As dreamdaisy has said, osteoarthritis can clearly be seen on X-ray, but this is not the case for auto-immune and inflammatory types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Blood tests are required to help diagnose these other types. Stickywicket has given some very helpful links and it does sound as if it would be good to talk through your fear of needles with your GP and/or rheumatology team. As stickywicket has said, there is help available.

    For more information about medical investigations (imaging, blood tests and X-rays) used to diagnose different types of arthritis, follow this link: https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/healthcare-professionals/clinical-assessment-of-the-musculoskeletal-system/investigations/

    You may also find this link helpful: https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/

    If at any point you would like to talk things through informally and in confidence, you are welcome to give us a call on our Free helpline 0800 520 0520 (9am -8pm weekdays).

    I hope this is of some help.

    Best wishes,

    Fiona, Helpline Advisor