Possible RA diagnosis

Posted , 4 users are following.

Ive been on the web researching my current lab results and I came across this forum. My story: Im a 38 year old, active, healthy woman. About two years ago, I ruptured my ACL and had to have ACL reconstruction and since then, things seem to be going down hill. I was able to return my active lifestyle after recovering from the ACL recon, but not without pain. Eventually, my left hip began to hurt constantly making running, walking and sleeping painful. It was discovered that I had a torn labrum, bone cyst, and bony impingement. I had arthroscopy to take care of it. During the course of the rehab, my right hip began experiencing the same symptoms. I had arthroscopy to correct that hip 3 months ago.

Since then, I have experienced a low grade fever (99.9-100.5) every single evening. I'm exhausted, and it seems like all my joints ache. My shoulders, hips, knees, one elbow, and one ankle bother me regularly. Ive had cortisone injections in both hips and one knee which either helped only for a short period or not at all.

Other symptoms that may or may not be related include insomnia, hair loss, and difficulty concentrating.

My doctor recently ordered several labs to see if it could be determined what is going on. The Rheumatoid Factor came back slightly above the reference range. All other labs looking for inflammation were normal. The only other labs out of range were neutrophils (high) and lymphocytes (low).

It's also probably important to add that I had a cortisone injection into one of my hips three days before the labs were drawn. 

Sorry for long post. I just need to figure this out. I'm so tired of being in pain and exhausted everyday.

I'd appreciate any insight or suggestions you can offer.


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  • Posted

    Keep talking with your doctors until you find one that's listening to you. It took me over a year of discussing carpal tunnel surgery until I told them that I thought there was something wrong and I didn't think cutting my wrist open would help. A bright and patient Rheumatologist finally saw me and the beginning of correct treatment started.

    Not funny but four years ago my primary told me she was pretty sure it was RA because of a blood test but the referral rheumy I saw next didn't get her note. That started the runaround. Went to several more docs until I found my new favorite person in the world.

    And yet I'm still working to find what works and what doesn't. Methotrexate seemed to help but recently started Enbrel and I feel like a new person.

    Our symptoms are different but the right doctor will help figure things out with you.

    Though I can see where indicators of my problem started long ago the real trigger happened in 2010 and it's only now that I'm on top of this thing called RA.

    I keep thinking there's a mistake and something was overlooked.

    Till you feel great again keep tabs on yourself without losing faith. (Or sanity)

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  • Posted

    Em fox has given you really good advice. Do keep going back to your gp and try and get a referral to a rheumatologist. If it is RA  or some other inflammatory arthritis  they are the ones to work it out. Are you wondering what I'm wondering that the cortisone shot( which reduces inflammation) may have affected your blood result?


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  • Posted

    What other blood tests were done? Were you checked for antinuclear antibodies?


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    • Posted

      I also had an Antinuclear antibodies, ESR, C-reactive protein, and CCP antibodies drawn. They were all within normal range. I am suspicious that the cortisone injection may have invalidated some of them. So right now, the other than my symptoms, the only thing they can really go off of is the low postive rheumatoid factor.

      I won't give up unt I figure this out. It's just not normal (or okay) to have a fever and pain every day. I am a teacher to students with severe disabities which means I'm on my feet and very physically active with them all day. If I don't get this figured, I can't see how I would be able to continue to serve them and give them what they need.

      Thanks for your replies!

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  • Posted

    Yes do keep on at the gp for a rheumy referral. Diagnosis is not just about blood results but also clinical evidence and your joint pain, fever and fatigue certainly point to some kind of inflammatory arthritis.

    i was teaching at a primary school when I first was unwell and had to consciously try and pace myself eg sit down for my break times and ask for help where I could, go home promptly and  go to bed early. It s so hard if you re used to being energetic and capable - but it meant I rarely had time off. I was using a lot of over the counter painkillers to begin with to cope but help began with a diagnosis and medication route and 18 months later I am so much better. Hope you get some progress on this soon.

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  • Posted

    My GP called me yesterday to discuss my results and stated that just having a slightly elevated RF was not enough to warrant concern and that I didn't have RA. I told her I wasn't comfortable with her making that judgment on test results alone as my symptoms alone are cause for suspicion. She referred me to a rheumatologist. My appointment is tomorrow morning.

    Is there any advice anyone can give before I go to my appointment? I don't know why, but I'm worried that my concerns will be brushed aside because of the lack of a full positive panel. I need answers.

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    • Posted

      Glad you ve got an appointment so soon.Just be open and tell them everything that s happening  , including how it is affecting your ability to work. It may not be  RA, after all you don't mention any hand problems, but something isn't right and they are specialists best placed to think how to go forward. The fact that joints are aching which haven't had a trauma to them needs looking at. Why the low grade fever with no inflammation markers in your blood tests.? I don't think they ll be dismissive of your symptoms- hope it proves to be a step forward.
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    • Posted

      My appointment today didn't tell me too much. The doctor felt that my symptoms more closely matched fibromyalgia because i don't have noticeae swelling or synnovitis. I told her I had a synnovitis diagnosis in my hip a few months ago and I'm having a repeat MRI next week. She said if it comes back still showing synnovitis, then RA is more likely.

      She thinks all my symptoms are a result of not sleeping well, Kind of frustrating because I don't sleep well because of my symptoms. So, until anything changes, my diagnosis is fibromyalgia.

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