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Author Topic: Arthritis diagnosis methods ??  (Read 931 times)

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Offline ChrisMc

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Arthritis diagnosis methods ??
« on: August 19, 2004, 10:52:56 AM »
After nearly a year of Knee pain/discomfort, and an initial consultation with surgeon, I'm pretty sure what I am suffering is Arthritis.  
However, I'm pretty sure that todays 2nd consultation is going to result in his reccommendation for an Arthroscopy to see full extent of damge etc.

I'm not keen on invasive action, as I have read peoples comments on here, and dont like to mess any further with my knee than absolutely neccessary.

Does anyone know if a correct, accurate, daignosis of Arthritis, is possible via Xray and/or MRI scan instead ?

Brief History:
Tore ACL at 18 in 1982.
Not diagnosed by A&E.
Surgery 6mths later, removal of 1 cartilage.
2yrs later.....arthroscopy for trimming of other cartilage for knee locking problems.
Have lived reasonably successfully for last 24yrs with unstable knee, avoiding all contact sports, but have managed to always Ski, albeit using Brace.
Cycle loads nowadays, very few problems.
However, last 11mths have been given me more discomfort in knee, and most pain during walking in day to day activity etc.

Arthritis surely most likely following 25yrs without Cartilage ?

Keen to investigate and manage things hopefully via non-invasive methods until absolutely no other alternatives.

TKR is not something I relish for the future !

Anyones comments/experiences gratefully received.

Thanks all.

Offline anasta5ia

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Re: Arthritis diagnosis methods ??
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2004, 11:21:15 AM »
Hey ChrisMC-

X-rays can be a major tool for the diagnosis, as so can bone scans.  Does the OS feel that you need a debridment and that is why he is recommending an arthroscopy?

If there are loose bodies floating around in the knee an arthroscopy is really a necessary procedure as those loose items can cause further damage.  Also, some procedures that help with arthritis can be done through the arthroscope so it becomes much more than just a look see.

You may want to check out the other sections of the board that are dedicated to arthritis.  I am sure that you will find TONS of info that can help you in your decision.

-Heather G.
Rt. knee-plica resection, LR, 4 TTTs, MPFL repair & 2 MPFL reconstructions
Lt. knee-2 TTTs, & 2 MPFL reconstructions...
Scheduled for bilateral hardware removal, lt. knee TT revision, MPFL recon and LR recon with new wonderful surgeon.
Plus 9 other orthopedic surgeries

Offline ChrisMc

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Re: Arthritis diagnosis methods ??
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2004, 12:06:09 PM »
Hi Heather,

1st Consultation earlier this year ended with a 'lets wait and see if it gets any better' etc, otherwise probably Athroscopy to 'see whats going on in there'.

Is that 'Debridement' ?  (sorrry for my ignorance.)

Im hoping that its possible to detect IF there are any loose bodies and other damage via an Xray/MRI perhaps, before going thru an arthroscopy if absolutely necessary.
Its not the surgery itself that worries me, its only that i would rather not aggravate via surgery if other avenues perhaps exist ?

The OS i am seeing is one of the major ones in my area for 'knee's', or so I beleive, but whether he is 'Knee Specialist', and fully pro-active in new techniques and developements, I arent sure.

Maybe I should be investigating him before i let him investigate my knee ?!

Offline AndrewC

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Re: Arthritis diagnosis methods ??
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2004, 01:15:05 PM »
Hi there

An X-ray will pick up joint narrowing (bone rubbing on bone) and physical changes within the actual joint but ones involving soft tissue (ligaments, cartilage, fragments etc) will not show up.

An MRI will show up a lot more info on the soft tissue front (ligaments, cartilage etc) but will not necessarily pick up all fragments etc....and if it does they may not be able to be interpreted by the radiographer due to the nature of the scan results and the limitations of MRI.....

Having said this....MRI and X-ray are very useful tools...and you would normally expect a surgeon to be armed with them to assist in diagnosis......even in your case where OA seems very likely.....

You would be wise to investigate your surgeon a bit and even get a 2nd opinion if you are uncertain about the op..........
It sounds like you WILL definately need surgery of some sort but aggravating the knee without first having as clear a picture as possible may be unwise.....
Having said this your surgeon may have something specific in mind so you could do with finding out his exact plans in relation to your arthrosopy.....

All the best....

Big bucket handle tear to lateral meniscus from sporting injury. Arthroscopy and meniscal repair carried out June 2004. sloooowwww recovery!!

2018 - torn medial meniscus in RH knee, partial extrusion. ongoing issues,

Offline Janet

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Re: Arthritis diagnosis methods ??
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2004, 05:45:12 PM »
I wouldn't let him do an arthroscopy just to look around. But my guess is that he thinks there is something in there that needs attended to, he's just not sure what it is until he sees inside. All the tests in the world won't tell him what is really going on. They are tools, but not answers. The only way to really know it for him to see it. So ask him what he expects to find during surgery, and what procedure he would do to correct it.

Torn quad tendon repair & VMO advancement 4/99, MUA with LOA 10/99, Patella baja and arthrofibrosis, LR & medial release & LOA 5/01, LOA & chondroplasty 6/03,TKR on 11/06, MUA 12/06. From perfect knees to a TKR in 7 years, all from a fall on a wet floor...and early undiagnosed scar tissue.