Multiple sites for osteoarthritis

I have multiple joints steadily getting worse with osteoarthritis. X-rays do not reveal how bad it is and this annoys me as I feel that gp disregards my pain. Recently X-ray of knee revealed nothing much, however MRI revealed whole knee affected quite badly by osteoarthritis. Why do professionals bother with X-rays if they don’t reveal true picture? Is it because MRIs cost more?


  • Hi @LucyC

    Images, such as X-rays often don't predict the pain which people experience.

    Am I right that you've had a later MRI on that knee which shows fuller extent of the problem?

    If the osteoarthritis diagnosis was already known elsewhere in your body, further X-rays are not usually advised.

    Instead the general recommendation is to have a musculoskeletal (MSK) examination (for example in a service such as physiotherapy) to advise on self-management exercise and advice on weight loss if needed, as these can improve outcomes. The MSK service may order further investigations or refer to specialists.

    I hope that's helpful.

    Guy - Helpline Team