Just went for a bone scan today to look for the extent of osteoarthritis. Has anyone had one? I was able to see the images as it was going and it looked like my spine was really bright. Is that how it is supposed to look or are all bright spots abnormal? Of course I don't have an appt with the rheumy for another month and my mind is going crazy. Help!
I've seen those scans too but really don't have any idea what the spots mean. It really depends on what nuclear material they gave you as to what was tagged and what wasn't. It could be showing arthritis in your spine or just showing the disks that are okay...you don't know.
Were you getting the scan for a particular reason or just to see where the worst areas were? If that is the case, I remember having a total body scan for OA and it showed the worse joint was my left ankle...the one that didn't hurt. And still doesn't 30 years later. In the meantime they replaced both my knees and operated on my shoulders and my spine all for OA but the ankle is fine. Just now starting to give me some pain at times.
So I don't put much faith in those all over tests. I go by what hurts and where and when. Got to the point where I could predict a storm before the weather man and was better at predicting inches of precip(rain or snow) than they were just by the amount of pain I had.
I think he just wanted to see what the extent of the OA is right now so he ordered a total body scan. The pain I have is in my hands and feet. But X-ray showed my hips as well. My spine doesn't really hurt so I was kind of freaking out. Thanks for telling me about your ankle....exactly what I needed to hear. I do think from searching around on the internet that your axial (center? spine sternum etc.) bones take up more of the injection so hopefully that's it. This is all so new to me......I didn't think I would get OA at 42. It sounds like you have had it a long time. How slow does it progress? Have you found things that work for you? The Dr is very nice but he is rushed and I don't feel like I get enough information.
You may just have the normal OA of aging just starting a little early and will probably progress slowly. I have early onset OA and it started in my late teens/early 20's. Rheumatologists are now thinking this is a different type of OA and may be inflammatory but the arthritis is exactly like the OA of aging. It's just starts for a different reason.
So my form has been very aggressive. Although I have had injuries complicate things, one of my knees went from first twinge to replacement in 10 years.
For most people, you really don't know until you see how it goes for a while. It may go fast or slow but most people find that sometimes they feel okay and other times, the OA flares up and you ache all over.
If you aren't already, please consider seeing a rheumatologist for testing to make sure it's OA. Sometimes arthritis can start as one thing and then become another. I got rheumatoid arthritis about 5 years ago on top of the OA(the proverbially adding insult to injury). Took a while to differentiate what was what but now I can tell which joint has what and in joints that have both, I can tell that too.
It's important to watch any chronic disorder, even one like OA. It can affect your entire health if it stops you from exercising and taking good care of yourself.
Thanks so much I really feel all alone in this and I am just still reeling from the diagnosis. But I am relieved it is not some of the other things they have tested for like neuropathy and MS. I have been going to Drs for 6 mos trying to find out the cause of my pain. I am seeing a Rheumatologist now and hopefully on the right track. I think the results of the bone scan should tell if I have only OA or something else like Fibromyalgia too. A month is a long time to wait for the results but I guess it really wouldn't change anything OA is OA and it is just symptom relief right? As I think back my symptoms have been coming and going for about 5 years but now they won't leave! Thanks again for the support and being there for questions because no one really understands if they don't have this thing.
Fibro won't show up on a bone scan as it's a pain disorder. The brain just doesn't interpret pain signals properly...or at least that is the latest research study I've read. Could be that they will find there is more than 1 type of fibro.
But you aren't alone. Arthritis is the most common disorder in the population. Just most people think there is nothing they can do about it so they don't seek help...and that is the true sorrow about arthritis. It can be helped...all of it.
Glad you have found a combination of meds that helps.
No you're right the bone scan can't show fibro no test can diagnose it. I think if the bone scan doesn't correlate with some of my areas of tendonitis then it might be fibro? I honestly think it is not Fibro because I don't fit the criteria.....but who knows right?