Question

Arthritis Diagnosis

What should I do if an X-ray detects arthritis without any symptoms?

A Answers (1)

  • AGrant Cooper, MD, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answered
    The presence of asymptomatic findings of arthritis on an X-ray should be taken as a warning that the joint is not healthy and will probably become painful if you don't start taking better care of it.

    A person with no clinical symptoms and X-ray findings of arthritis should be treated in the same way as someone with no symptoms and no X-ray findings. Both should eat right, exercise, and take the appropriate supplements. The key difference is that the person with X-ray findings may be at greater risk of developing symptoms sooner, and should take preventative measures as soon as possible. Routine screening with X-rays to look for arthritis damage is definitely not indicated because they expose the patient to unnecessary radiation and are costly.

    Noticing signs of arthritis on X-ray should prompt a greater sense of urgency for the patient to take steps to reduce the risk of developing worsening arthritis, which likely will eventually lead to pain and suffering if it is not appropriately managed.
Did You See?  Close
Can an X-ray determine the severity of arthritis?