Hi Becky -
I have a slightly different point of view from having wreck-related injuries, also arthritis, bursitis and tendonitis,and have had hand surgery. I absolutely am not disagreeing with the other respondents, only teling my own individual experiences. I tend to believe doctors until they are proven wrong. It's usually my preconceived notions that are off base.
I get copies of all my MRIs, CTs, x-rays on disks and make copies of them for the next doctor. I also make copies of the written reports. I agree with refusing more x-rays, but suggest going back to the first doc and asking for a disk of the previous x-rays. You have a right to your records! They are usually free if you are taking them to another doctor, but they can charge a reasonable fee if they are just for your own files. I just got copies of my shoulder x-rays so I can get a second opinion about
I don't have Cronhns or any autoimmune problems that I know of, and I've been tested. I do have pain in my knee which was injured in the accident and was operated arthroscopically. The original injury was corrected, but there's a tendon popping, or letting the kneecap slip back and forth. I think more PT will be prescribed. It didn't help with the torn cartilage, but it might be able to tighten up or strengthen the tendon.
I had hand surgery for trigger fingers related to taking a cancer med. This was last summer and I still have a lot of pain, have to keep working the tendons and the scars several times a day. The gentle PT helped a lot for a while, then the insurance covered visits ran out and it wasn't helping much anyway. I was not getting better as fast as I thought I should. In fact progress was not happening at all. My doc told me I needed to be more vigorous with my stretching and pushing on the scars to keep the tissue from reforming too tight. I have to push and stretch to the point it hurts quite a bit - which I was not told I needed to do when I was in therapy. Working the hand in fairly hot water or at least in my hot tub works fastest and relieves pain the best. I was told it can take a year or more to recover. I have one spot that clicks quite a bit and may need a further brief surgical release.
I've had injections for my hand (they have to try that first before surgery), for my knee, my slipping ribs, and a whole bunch for my spine. I've read and been told it's true that you can usually only have 3 in one area in a year or the tendons and cartilege break down.
Arthritis starts up where you've had an injury. That's what's wrong with my spine. Fell of horses for a start, but the wreck seems to have really done me in. It got worse fast and now causes a lot of pain. My shoulder has only a tiny bit of arthritis, but there's tendonitis and bursitis (aka impingement syndrome) causing pain too. That's pretty well controlled for now with injections, but I can't have any more and the next treatment is surgery to remove a couple of tiny bone spurs and the bursa that's inflamed. Sometimes a tiny bit of arthritis or inflamation can cause debilitating pain!
For pain I can only take tramadol or vicodin, the latter I save for after surgeries. I get away with Tylenol, but need the max dose to notice any relief, and I'd rather save my liver. My little bitty hot tub helps a lot too. It fits in the space of a closet.