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X-rays came back negative?? Help!!!

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Old 08-04-2005, 12:37 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1
CindyE HB User
X-rays came back negative?? Help!!!


For the past few months I have had severe pain in the joints of my fingers.. on both hands. Went to my doc and he did a full blood panel as well as x-rays. Everything came back normal. The pain is horrible and since I have no swelling in my joints, Mobic does nothing. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what may be going on? I just don't understand why the joints in my fingers hurt if I don't have arthritis. I'm only 35 and I am healthy. I'm glad its not arthritis, but I don't know what it could be. Any advice would be appreciated......

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Old 08-04-2005, 03:14 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2
allanbutler HB User
Re: X-rays came back negative?? Help!!!

I understand your concern.
For years I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis only to be told eventually I had osteo arthritis.
I have had swelling of my joints especially my wrists and knees.
Having come from South Africa where the drug laws are more lapse I have been on prednisone for about ten years and this has kept my symptoms under control. My dose was about 10 to 20mg per day depending on the time of the year. Winters here hurt the most.
When I arrived here they tried to take me of the prednisone and we went through Mobic and all the other common USA drugs for this over a period of three years.
All of them failed and either the side effects or the inability to relieve pain caused me to plead with my doctor to let me continue with the prednisone. He finally relented and now I am back on the prednisone.
By the way trying to get off it after so long is extremely painful.
A week ago I went to renew my prescriptions and rheumatologist said he wanted to try me on Humera which I did and I took the first injection a week ago.
Since then I have had severe bone pain and do not intend to continue with this drug. I am still taking the prednisone.
No one has been able to account for the pain and tell me it is not due to the Humera.
I have no side effect from the prednisone at all and will keep taking this as it is the only medication which seems to work.
The question I ask is why could they not identify the type of arthritis I have in the first place?
I would suggest you have your arthritis investigated more fully and see if you have not been mis-diagnosed.
If so Mobic and others will not help.
Does any one have any experience with Humera and if so have you experienced severe bone pain?

Old 08-04-2005, 08:35 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 309
teachergirl64 HB User
Re: X-rays came back negative?? Help!!!

Early rheumatoid arthritis will not show changes on the x-rays. That comes later when there is irreversible damage. Your blood work may be negative and not all NSAIDs work the same. Here are the criteria for RA:

Morning stiffness of >1 hour.
Arthritis and soft-tissue swelling of >3 of 14 joints/joint groups
Arthritis of hand joints
Symmetric arthritis
Subcutaneous nodules in specific places
Rheumatoid factor at a level above the 95th percentile
Radiological changes suggestive of joint erosion
Four criteria have to be met, although many patients are treated despite not meeting the criteria.

The symptoms that distinguish rheumatoid arthritis are inflammation and soft-tissue swelling of many joints at the same time (polyarthritis). The hands are generally affected in a symmetric fashion. The pain generally improves with use of the affected joints, and there is usually stiffness of all joints in the morning that lasts over 1 hour.

If the arthritis has been longstanding, the inflammatory activity has led to erosion and destruction of the joint surface, which impairs their range of movement and leads to deformity. The fingers are typically deviated towards the little finger (ulnar deviation) and can assume unnatural shapes.
If you have some of the criteria, you need to be rechecked and get a second opinion.

Old 08-11-2005, 12:24 PM   #4
off kilter
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Chelsea,Ma,USA
Posts: 408
off kilter HB User
Re: X-rays came back negative?? Help!!!

I vote for a second opinion as well. I have had JRA for 40 years, I'm 48 now. I was not diagnosed till I was 18 because my RA factor blood test was negative. At 18 I developed golf ball size lumps on my knees and they turned out to be RA granulomas. Over the years I have had to deal with My Ra and have been lucky it has been mild and seemed to have burnt itself out a few years ago only having to use naproxen on occasion with flare ups. I was very suprised to develop major foot and ankle pain 12 weeks ago. I went to my Dr. He thought I had sprain my ankle and referred me to a specialist because something didn't seem right to him. My X-Rays were normal, all my blood work was normal including a Neg. RA factors. He could have sent me home with naproxen,told me to rest my foot and put me in a Female,fat& 40 box. But he didn't. He ordered a MRI and found extensive erosion of the bones in my feet. I've been walking with bones grinding on bones. alot of inflamation and internal swelling. It seems I had had major silent damage to my feet over the years that just exploded one day. In a effort to reduce pain and keep what function I still have, I'm starting Physical therapy full time. As well as a chemotherapy drug called methotrexate. I do not have cancer but it's been found some chemo drugs slows cell production of the inflammatory cells that our bodies make in the response to the malfunction of the immune system and we are hoping to slow or stop more damage to my ankles and feet. Point is not all damage to joints from RA or JRA shows up on X-Rays, Some patients with RA or JRA never have a positive factor.

Old 08-22-2005, 09:34 AM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 8
Josie11 HB User
Re: X-rays came back negative?? Help!!!

I am in what my Rheumatologist thinks is early RA so hope I can help. I started having swelling and pain in March of this year. It took 3 trips to my GP and 2 months for them to refer me to a Rheumatologist and that's only after I forced them to. My x-rays and all blood work has been negative. The swelling I have is "between" my knuckles which confused my GP. But the actual pain I feel is IN my joints. Since seeing my Rheumatologist I have developed pain in the wrists and right ankle too. Gripping anything is almost sure to bring pain. She (the Rheumy) believes that I have RA and has started me on Plaquenil which has helped a lot. She has not given me a definite diagnosis because it's still in the early stages. There are over 100 types of arthritis so diagnosing a specific one can be tricky. Keep a calendar or journal of days when your joints hurt, what the temp is outside, what activities you performed that day, etc. That helped my doctor a lot when I first saw her.

Just remember that not all x-rays and blood work will say that you have arthritis. Find a doctor that's right for you because not all of them are. Let me know if I can help! --Josie

Old 08-29-2005, 02:47 AM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 64
MaryG1959 HB User
Re: X-rays came back negative?? Help!!!

I must've missed this post. I'm so glad to see all these responses as my xrays are negative ("no significant arthritis) and blood levels are normal w/the exception of a positive ANA. I have trigger thumb and nodules under the skin on both my thumb and a middle finger. My stiffness lasts for hours. It is much worse in the morning and at night but it always bothers me. My hands and feet are the worst.

I'm extremely busy most of the time and refuse to let this stop me. Hopefully I'll be able to keep that attitude. However scraping old wallpaper off a wall became so painful --my husband finished it for me.

Arthritis runs in my family (both sides) so much I don't think I'll be able to avoid some aspect of the disease.

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