Arthritis Action

Subchondral Sclerosis hips

I have had a follow up with consultant last week regarding MRI results and he told me I had early arthritis (didn't tell me which one) and trochanteric bursitis right side.

Just had my letter through that I was cc in for docs and it states subchondral sclerosis, I'm confused. Can anyone help? I have an appointment with docs next week for poss MRI referral on back but my knees are in awful pain, they look like there's fluid around them both, please don't let me arthritis there too, I'm 45.

6 Replies

Sclerosis is a hardening or thickening; the subchondria is the layer of bone just below your cartilage... So subchondrial sclerosis is thickening/increased bone density in a joint - and it's an early sign of osteoarthritis. Along with the bursitis, it's why your hip hurts.

Arthritis in the hip can cause referred knee pain, so you might not have it there too. Before my hip replacement last year, my knees hurt much more than my hip did! Best to get x-rays to check though...


Aww Flow thank you for getting back to me so soon, I've changed my docs appointment from next Friday to Monday now as the knees are so painful and fluid filled, a lot worse than the hip pain. Yes I'm going to push for an X-ray. How are you feeling? X


Fluid-filled knees sounds very painful, sunseeker! I have just a little bursa behind one knee, and that's bad enough!

I'm feeling pretty rough, to be honest. I hurt in so many different places, and I realise I have not had a pain-free waking hour for 3 or 4 years! :( I am so fed up with it! Now I have obvious physical tendon and joint damage in so many different places, it is clear to me that the treatment I've had so far (just NSAIDs) isn't enough, and it seems likely that my diagnosis is wrong, or missing something...

Moan over!

I hope your GP is useful on Monday... Funnily enough, I'm going to see mine then too, so I hope they're BOTH useful!


You poor woman I've just looked at your first post and you arthritis in most of your joints, do you still work? You're only young at 49 is it? Have they given you any idea on why it's affecting most of your joints? Are you having different diagnosis? By reading your post earlier it seems you are, sorry if I'm just dumb and didn't read it correctly :-(

Yes we are both at docs so I will update in the evening


Yes, I'm 49 and yes, I work - though only half-time, and I have an office job, so that makes it easier. My diagnosis at the moment is hypermobility syndrome (HMS) leading to early-onset multi-site osteoarthritis - which basically means they think that because my joints were extra-bendy when I was younger, they have worn out sooner. But I don't know anyone else with HMS who has arthritis in so many joints, and many people are *much* bendier than I ever was. Also, it is now clear that a lot of my pain is in my tendons rather than my joints - and places that have hurt for a couple of years are now swelling and starting to grow lumps, which is clearly not normal! Deformed feet and hands aren't normal either! 2 years ago, there wasn't much to see - pain is invisible after all - but now there is.

I am pretty sure that my diagnosis is wrong or incomplete, and that I have spondyloarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or perhaps ankylosing spondylitis... And I'm 100% sure that even if they think that what is happening to me can still be explained by my original diagnosis, it needs treatment with something more than NSAIDs! I can't just go on deforming without them at least *trying* to do something about it...

Thank you for your concern, it's sweet of you :) I feel like I have hijacked your thread rather though. Sorry!


I went back to docs this afternoon for follow up after MRI results told him about extreme ache in both knees front back and particularly in right one that moves down to ankle. After examination he assumes no arthritis in them and potentially referred pain from hips. The pain is keeping me awake at night. He suggested a blood test. Anyone know why? He seemed a bit unsure of what it is, I'm fed up completely with it. On waiting list for steroid injection at hospital for hips unsure whether to go ahead with that from reading up on it. The pain in legs is so sore, affecting me walking just want to get it sorted one way or another but he seemed baffled today, no wiser than I was before I went :-(


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