several questions

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/17/2017 9:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Good morning My name is CHris I am a 48 yr old male history of OA in neck back hips and knees for several years . Approx 2 to 3 years ago I began to have pain in my hands after a few moments of using them . The pain would be very intense and last maybe 2 or 3 minutes and I could continue to do whatever pain free. My dr noted that my hands were swollen and red . During this time I had esr and ccp ( not sure names are correct ) blood tests become abnormal only to return to normal 3 months later on blood test . they have gone up and down a few times . Approx a year ago I began to get morning stiffness in my right hand middle and ring fingers. Shortly there after hard lumps under the skin on these fingers on the pip joint began to appear . More blood test this time with rf being tested all came back normal . Xrays of hands were taken and no arthritis was found . now left hand ring and middle fingers are sore and stiff . Both hands are sore red warm and pip joints are swollen. Hard lumps are still very present . Had first appointment with rhumo 3 weeks ago . Started back on meloxicam for Oa in hips and back . Mild relief of symptoms. Dr has stated that at the next appointment if hands are not feeling better with the meloxicam I am to start steroids as it is suspicious of ser*** ra( not sure the exact name but its ra without blood work being out of normal . First question my appointment is March 14 and was told if the oa was not better to call and they would give me a different nsaid . There is no relief on my hands from meds . Should I call dr and have them change the oa meds or do they take more than 3 weeks to be effective ? Should I call and request the roids now vs next month ? I have read that the earlier the treatment the better ? Is it normal to have bloodwork fluctuate neg to pos and back again ?If xrays show no arthritus but there are very visable lumps and swelling on pip joints noted by myself my primary and rhumo what could it be . When my hands are stiff ( when I first wake up or if I sit around not using my hands ) sometimes my knuckles on my fingers feel as if they need to be cracked . Almost as if there is a pressure in the knuckle itself . Does this sound normal . My example is not the best way to describe it as it is a weird pain in knuckles hard to explain . My grip on my right hand especially feels as if it has changed . Not dramatically but it feels different . Well any info would help I appreciate it .

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 2/17/2017 9:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I had a problem with knots coming up on my pip joints and my blood work was fine. The rheumatologist told me I had inflammatory polyarthritis.
Lupus, RA, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Depression, Allergies, diabetes, and benign familia tremors

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 2082
   Posted 2/18/2017 10:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Chris,
So sorry you are having to seek us out with all this arthritis pain and such a young man too. I hope the information Joy gave you is helpful or subsequent blood tests and or x rays can help. There is another blood tests that can determine sero negative RA, and you could get a sedrate blood test. But so don't know how your OA might affect the results.
Keep us posted.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 548
   Posted 2/19/2017 9:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Chris and welcome, sorry to hear you are experiencing this. I am a 47 YO man as well but have had RA most of my adult life beginning back when I was in my early 20's.

I would call and talk with the Nurse. NSAID's in my experience (mind everyones body is different and RX work differently for all of us) either work in a relatively short time frame or not at all. You can try supplementing with regular Ibuprofen but I would call and ask the nurse even about that before taking it.

If the pain and inflammation is bad I don't see why you shouldn't request the steroids but steroids are a whole different ball game when it comes to taking them, their possible side effects and trying to get off of them after being on them for even a few months. There are tons of posts here on them the most common being Prednisone. Spend some time reading about them.

If you have RA early aggressive treatment can mean the difference between permanent joint damage and not. The protocol has been to treat early and aggressively due to this. Joint damage can occur in a relatively short period of time as well if you have an aggressive form of the disease. Its good that they are not seeing permanent damage!

As far as blood work fluctuations it depends. SED rate can certainly fluctuate and anti CCP and CRP can as well. Mine for instance fluctuate but have always been really high regardless so it is relative. I have very aggressive RA though. In your case with them going into normal ranges I would wonder if there is something else going on maybe something environmental? Have you given thought to looking at your diet? A lot of people who are diagnosed with RA find relief with some dietary changes and some even end up in total remission.

The lumps are probably nodules. In your Xrays they are looking for damage between the joints themselves or even loss of bone I bet. Nodules usually are a warning sign of joint damage or sometimes a more severe form of disease. The good news is that some medications these days can get rid of them. Taking Enbrel mine completely disappeared and have not come back.

Your example is a great way to put it. The joint stiffness is a classic sign of RA. Mine feel like I have 90 weight oil in them from getting up till about 1 every day and then it turns into 30 weight. If I move it gets a bit better but not by much, I have really bad RA though. My knees feel like I am walking on stilts. My hands have constant pressure in the knuckles and are painful, sometimes with extreme shooting pain that freezes me up until it passes.

My grip is definitely affected, I can't apply pressure very well because my hands feel they have balloons inside of them. Some days are worse than others for me.

Give your diet some thought, if nothing else it could help you find foods that aggravate your symptoms. There are a lot of wild claims online though regarding so called cures so just take a measured approach. RA and anything with the word arthritis in it seems to be the rallying cry for every huckster on the planet.

I hope that you feel better and everything works out. This site is a great resource with a wealth of people with experience with all things RA.

Take care, -Don
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