Yes, one can have osteoarthrits and not have visible signs of inflammation. Xrays easily detect the presence of osteoarthritis. I would think that your doctor would have ordered a xray or two on your most problematic joint
BTW, popping or cracking of joints is quite common in certain people and is not necessarily a sign of something negative. Pain on the other hand is the body's way of signaling a problem. If you aren't getting the help you feel you should from your current doctor, you might consider getting asecond opinion.
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CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, and a host of other medical problems.