Back to all discussions

Bone erosion causes besides RA?

So my x-rays showed bone erosion in my feet and hips. Basic blood work is ok (waiting on a few more). I am currently 4 days into a 15 day trial of prednisone.

The prednisone is helping, which I guess, is another piece of the puzzle toward inflammatory or auto immune, since I don't have labs to back it up.

But now I'm getting worried. I've read that if you do have RA.....sero-neg or positive, they treat it the same? Is that true? So.....that means some pretty hefty meds.

Is there ANYthing else that causes bone erosion like an inflammatory arthritis? I want to treat something if I have it, but I worry....what if it could be something else and I'm taking something I don't really need?

  1. Of course, I am nor a doctor, so I would ask your doctor, but there are other causes of bone erosion. The most common cause is RA. Add to that the symptoms you present with, it likely gives further support for an RA diagnosis. There may even be different patterns or sites of erosion that further supports an RA diagnosis and rules out any others. That would be a very good question for your doctor.

    I will tell you what my doctor told me, "Medicine is billed as a science, but it is really more of an art. There is so much we don't know. Most of what we do is educated guessing." I believe that. The human body is so complex and no two are exactly alike.

    It will likely take several meds trials before you find one that works. If you feel better, you know it is RA. If you don't, does that mean you don't have RA or just that you aren't on the right med? Another good question for your doctor.

    I agree. These meds are scary. Nobody would take them willingly unless they thought something worse would happen if they didn't. You don't have to jump in to the deep end first. Your doctor may start out with less scary meds to see if they work and then move up from there. Communication is key. Just remember with RA, doing nothing also has risks.

    I too would like to wake up and realize it was all just a bad dream and I don't have RA.

    1. Hi mamadee. Sorry to hear you are having these issues. Getting a proper RA diagnosis can be difficult, which may explain the additional tests your doctor is doing. This article from our editorial team looks at the diagnostic process:

      As ktinflorida said, treating RA is a very individualistic thing. What works for one may not for another. The patients individual condition will dictate a lot about the treatment. This article gives and overview of RA treatments: Knowledge is power and I hope this information helps. Keep us posted on how you are doing. Best, Richard ( Team)

      1. Thanks guys, for the support and the questions to ask my doc. I am making a list, believe me!

        I went from being scared that the prednisone wouldn't work (as in, THEN what do I do?) to now being scared that it is seeming to! (as in, what if it really IS ra?)

        All the stuff I have read seems to indicate that ra is the most likely for bone erosion, but also other auto immune or inflammatory stuff. All of which is scary, too.

        Guess I was hoping for something more like..... I know I have osteopenia and raynauds.....maybe they could cause bone erosion. Or even osteoarthritis like I thought I had in my big toes. (hallux rigidux). But I can't find anything to that effect. Especially bone erosion in the 5th that and almost everything says early ra. Sigh.

        Thanks, again.

        or create an account to reply.