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Did Your AS Show Up on an X-ray or an MRI?

I'm undiagnosed but I know I have AS. My rheumy will not diagnose me cause my x-ray did not show up damage to my sacroiliac joints.

However I have severe damage in my cervical and lumbar spine with facet arthropathy and spinal stenosis. I also have bone growth at multiple levels and severe osteoarthritis.

I'm only 44! I was in the best shape of my life 2 years ago and now I struggle to walk up the stairs!

My rheumy never asked me my family history! My mom has psoriactic arthritis, two out of three sisters has RA and the third has MS. So autioammune disorders are very prevalent in my family.

Sorry it's so long but I'm looking for support and advice.


  1. Good evening ! Thank you for your question, we're happy to have you here!

    I'm so sorry you are having such a hard time getting a diagnosis. I can only imagine how frustrating that must be for you, especially with your extensive family history of autoimmune disorders.

    I can relate to your experience as my first MRI came up clear, with the exception of facet arthritis and DDD. The first rheumatologist I saw refused to give me a diagnosis based off of that, and the fact I'm a female.

    Like you, I just knew I had it. I ended up seeing a new rheumatologist 3 weeks later. They ordered a pelvic x-ray, and low and behold, in that three week period my imaging had changed and I was diagnosed on the spot.

    Have you ever heard of non-radiographic axial-spondyloarthritis? This is a diagnosis given to those who meet the criteria of AS, minus the visible damage in the saicriloic joints. This may something worth mentioning to your doctor.

    I hope you can get to the bottom of all of this and get some relief soon. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    -Katie, Team Member

    1. I agree with it possibly being non-radiographic since both my daughter and son in law have it. They had the same issue as you did with Rheumy thinking it couldn’t be AS because of that. I feel like if your Rheumy doesn’t understand that then you need to find another doctor!

      1. If you decide to stay with your rheumy take him or her a few of the studies, especially the ones that give the diagnoses criteria. Pubmed has many scientific articles about AS and nonAxial (wrong word I know—-darn brain fog) Spondylitis.

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