Ultrasound scan result

Had ultrasound last week of my hands, the lady doing the scan didn't seem to know how to use the machine and kept asking the nurse. She said there was no Synovitis, but I have fluid within the joints. Not sure what that's all about, she seemed to be in a rush to get rid of me. I did say there were two lumps on my little finger and she said "that's your bone" I said "no, there's two lumps over the knuckle" she then asked the nurse for the finger scanner and found the lumps and was quite surprised, she said she thinks they are Ganglion Cysts.!!!! Now have to wait for results from consultant as he's away for 2 weeks. He has upped my MTX injection from 7.5mg to 10mg for two weeks and then 12.5mg until I see him again, so long as I can tolerate it. Took the first 10mg yesterday and slept for 10 hours and feel really tired today, hope it gets better tomorrow. Still swollen fingers and very painful, feet too, still not sure if it's RA, but he's treating it as if it is.

After trying to kick the steroids, I had a blood test to see if my adrenal glands were producing enough cortisol, unfortunately they are not and my cortisol level is very low, so I have to stay on 7.5 mg daily for the forseeable future as it could cause serious problems and a relapse of my sarcoidosis of the lungs and if I get any infection, stress or injury I have to double the dosage. Not what I wanted as I need to lose weight.

Sorry for the long post. Just thought I'd let you know how things are progressing or not in my case.


12 Replies

  • This all sounds pretty rough Jan - so sorry you are going through all this and that the useless scanner didn't know what she was doing apparently. Hope the injectable MTX works for your pain and things settle down on higher doses and it helps with the Sarcoidosis too. Take care and rest up. Twitchy x

  • Thank you Twitchy, just hoping I can tolerate the higher doses of MTX and they start to help with the pain as it is now getting to the point that I don't know what to do next. It's so frustrating at the moment as it's been going on for so long with no relief at all. Sorry for the whinge, head not in a good place just now. Hope you are as well as can be at he moment, as I know you are suffering too.


  • Sorry to hear this Jan. I had an ultrasound of my hands a week or two ago, too. It was carried out by a consultant radiographer, who explained that carrying out and interpreting ultrasounds is much more complicated than doing X-rays, and needs much more training. If you don't think the woman doing yours knew what she was doing, i think I'd be inclined to ask about her job role and experience. I haven't seen my full report yet, but it has made the rheumy change his mind about his diagnosis and treatment, so they're important.

    Good luck!

  • I am inclined to think she knew what she was looking for on the screen, but she was not familiar with the machine. It was late in the afternoon and she was pregnant (no excuse I know ), but I thought she was in a rush to go home maybe. Will wait and see what consultant has to say when he gets her report. Thanks for replying and your thoughts.


  • I also had a scan a few week ago. Was told it was a Dr in xray doing it. Tried to ask questions he just said it can tell what type of arthritis. It was over in literally 2 mins asked if he found synovitis and he said no all normal. I go back to clinic next week.

    I did have an xray of one hand a week later due to injury and was told arthritis in there plus extra bone on the side of my knuckle plus something on my little finger she could not explain so who knows.

    I do hope you get relief soon and the increase works.

    My appointment is to approve anti tnf or to add a 4 th DMARD. I know exactly how you are feeling. Take care.

  • It sounds like your X-ray showed degenerative changes that you get with osteoarthritis. The ultrasound person will have seen these as 'normal' because they're related to OA, and they're looking for the sorts of inflammatory changes seen with RA.

    But it's crazy there's so much variation in detail/attention/quality... My scan took 15-20 mins, and he seemed to be really *looking*.

  • I agree with the detail ect. He was so rushed. Saw flashes of colour then he flicked a switch. He was quite rough too it hurt over my wrists. Oh well see next week. Was surprised to be honest because I have a lot of swelling and it takes about 3 1/2 hours in a morning for the stiffness to wear off..

  • Thanks moomie, very similar problems, I was in there for about 10 mins or so. I am now taking hydroxychloroquine and MTX, tried sulphazalaine, but did nothing for me. Didn't feel great yesterday, but a little better today after the increased dose of MTX on Thursday. Here's hoping I can continue with the next increase in two weeks time. Hope you get the meds soon that will help you.

    Jan x

  • Pleased the increase is helping and hope you manage to get benefit and tolerate your next increase. I take naproxen sulph hydrox and mtx. Have had a lot of steroids too recently. They are the only thing at the moment that help matters. Unfortunately told yesterday I have oesteopenia so due to start more meds for that. Feel 92 instead of 52. But I am sure you know the feeling.

    Fingers crossed for you.

  • Oh wow that doesn't sound like the technologist was very experienced. I hope she did it properly in the end. I hope the MTX is a bit kinder to you and the side effects calm down. I couldn't take it as it sent me loopy and I wanted to kill people. Whoops! I am weaning off pred after 2 1/2 years from 7.5 down to 0 in 6 weeks. I am down to 4mg and go down to 3 next wed. I think it is impacting badly and I feel like I am about to hit a major flare so I feel for you and yes the weight I have put on is phenomenal. Good luck with it all I hope you get some good results

  • Thanks Somonesmother, I know how you feel, have you been given the special blood test to see if your adrenal glands are producing enough of your own cortisol? I think it's called a Short Synacthen blood test, you have to have it done in hospital before 9am, they firstly take blood then injected youwith something that stimulates cortisol, then 30mins after they take another blood test. This will then give them the result of how your adrenal glands are working. (Or something to that effect). Not too good at explaining these medical things, if you look it up it will explain it better than me!!! My consultant explained it could cause major issues if I was to stop the steroids as I was not producing enough of my own Cortisol. I hope this is not the case for you. Good luck and I hope you kick the pred soon with no further flares,

    Jan x

  • No no one has even mentioned that. I guess they aren't worried that I will crash and burn. I know I am becoming more and more painful everywhere as I reduce the dose aghhh We seem to lurch from one thing to another don't we. hahahah

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