Bloods Come Back Normal Along With Xrays... Am Due For Bone Scan, Will This Def Show Arthritis ?

Question

Asked by traluvie

Bloods Come Back Normal Along With Xrays... Am Due For Bone Scan, Will This Def Show Arthritis ?

I am 31 and since sep i have been off work with swelling and pain in my fingers and wrists.. My doc referred me to rheumatologist.. my blood has all come back normal and x rays and ultra sound on hands showed no swelling... the pain has gradually got worse, now experiencing pain in ankles, elbows , shoulders and neck.. the pain in fingers and wrist has got increasingly worse.. I have seen rheumatologist today and he has said i have all symptoms of inflamitpory arthritis but tests prove otherwise... he is now sending me for a bone scan...I know somethings wrong and struggle with simple things such as filling kettle, doing my hair etc...I am on tramadol and diclofenac and had steroid injetcion dec which has helped with swelling and tiredness and aches...i feel i fighting a loosing battle an would love to get back to some kind of normality and have a diagnosis..Any help or advice would be extremly grateful...Thanks

PS could it be seronegative arthritis(doc has not mentioned this i have just researched my symptoms)

Answer

Here's the thing, these tests actually don't prove otherwise. In the beginning of RA, blood test can be hard to pin down and yes, you're right - as 20-30% of people with RA are seronegative, you can have RA even though none of the tests come back positive (see our post on blood tests and what they mean for more information). As well, damage to the joints can take a while to build up, so if you have early RA, it's unlikely that anything will show up on e.g., x-rays. Most good rheumatologists will make a diagnosis based on physical exam and medical history, but it can still be difficult to pin down early in the disease. I would recommend that you seek out a second opinion - unfortunately, it's quite common for people with RA to have to go to several doctors before they get a diagnosis. Keep pushing - it's important to get treated early and aggressively to protect your joints from damage.