Joint deformity

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I recently went to my PA regarding joint deformity in the joints of my fingers in both hands. The firat thing she mentioned was RA and sent me for bloodwork and xrays, and booked me with a rheumatologist for June. My bloodwork came back fine. My xrays showed significant variance in both hands buty soft tissue seemed fine. Does this mean that it's probably carpal tunnel related instead amd I should cancel my rheumatologist appt?

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    I would not.  Never heard of cts causing joint deformities, but interested in what labs you had done. Did you have anti cpp?  My PA did not run that and I feel it is the best one for diagnosis.  Mine was highly elevated when rheumy ordered it.  Also get an opinion from rheumy about deformities....they have seen it all.  Also try reading about ra symptoms to see if you have any before seeing him.  Good luck!
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    • Posted

      Not sure exactly what tests she ordered...in my results it showed the RF test, and a complete blood count, and nothing g was flagged. My x ray results said significant ulnar minus variane, but that my soft tissue was unremarkable. I figured since nothing was flagged on my bloodwork that it was fine, I read one of your blood testsus be positive for a RA diagnosis.
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  • Posted

    The RA test is notorius for both false positives and false negatives.  After rheumy ordered anticpp (which by the way my PA had never heard of) I did some research and found it to be much more accurate and reliable.  I do not blame my PA..she got me to a rheumy which ordered the proper tests...thats her job.  So that is why I think you should not cancel that appt.  just my opinion..hope it works out either way!
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    • Posted

      Thank you for all of your help. I was just curious as to whether it would be possible to still have RA despite the negative RF and no sign of inflammation in my blood work. I went back over my lab tests and they did the ESR, I did not see anything that resembled the anti CCP. But the ESR came back normal. I just don't want to waste a drs time if there is something obvious in my test results that rule out RA.
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    • Posted

      That anti ccp test is the most important in my opinion. If your RF is elevated and so is the anti ccp, it's a pretty good confirmation of RA.
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    • Posted

      People can still have RA with negative RF.

      i would keep the rheumy appt because your PT hasn't really been able to identify the cause of your deformities and if there is a ( small) chance it s RA she is doing the best thing by you to refer on to a specialist who will have a vast experience of seeing joint problems and will hopefully give you some explanations.

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  • Posted

    Negative RF doesn't mean you don't have an inflammatory arthritis - no more really than having a positive one means you do. Healthy people can be positive, people with RA negative. Some people don't develop raised levels of ESR and CRP.

    But you can also have finger deformation without RA. You can develop Heberdens and Bouchards nodes on your finger joints which are technically painless. I find the one on my right index finger sort of itches - no idea why! Part of aging I'm afraid although mine started to appear in my late 40s - which I don't regard as elderly...

    Do you have any other problems? Fatigue, pain in joints that comes and goes? Think about that and go and see your rheumy in June - it's the PA who is "to blame" if there is nothing wrong, not you! You don't have to go back if they don't find anything.

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    • Posted

      Fatigue is different from "being tired". It is there when you wake up in the morning or haven't done an awful lot and resting doesn't leave you refereshed. It is a very common sign of an autoimmune problem - which covers many forms of arthritis/rheumatism. Many GPs will dismiss it as "your age" but it doesn't mean it is.

      That's why I said think about it - and write down such things. If you have constant joint pain or stiffness it needs investigating. If it is there one day and gone the next or moves from one joint to another, make notes. Are you stiff in the mornings? If so, for how long? What makes it worse/better? 

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  • Posted

    Don't cancel. RA appointments are hard to get and for sure she will point you in the right direction if it turns out not to be RA. But it does certainly sound like it.
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    • Posted

      What your GP did came back "normal" - but they won't have done the really informative stuff and wouldn't know what to make of them anyway. But "negative" doesn't mean it means nothing and as Light says, the rheumy will express an opinion.
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  • Posted

    Thanks to everyone for all of the advice. I kept the appointment, even managed to find one closer to home in a week so hopefully I have some answers then. Thanks again for everything!
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