rheumatoid or osteo

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I was diagnosed with RA a few years ago and has been on Plaquenil and then methotrexate for 2 years. My Rhematoid factor was slightley elvated (24), normal sedmentation rate, CRP normal and anti citrullinated protien antibody, 68. I didn't have much pain in my joints, but my knuckles at the baseof my fingers keep getting bigger and I am getting deformity in my fingers. An MRI was done, but showed no active inflamation. I went to another rehumy and was told I don't have RA, but osteoarthrits. He told me to stop the meds. I am planning to go to a third doctor to verify, I stopped the meds, but I am concerned the deformity will continue. If I don't have pain, mostly normal labs and no active inflamation according to the MRI, why do

I get deformity? Any ideas?


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  • Posted

    Are they Heberden's or Bouchard's nodes? Google them as I can't find a link I can use here without being moderated (the good patient.info one is for professionals).

    Our knuckles do appear to get bigger as we age and I have a deformed index finger joint that is a Heberden's node. 

    One of the diagnostic criteria for RA is damage in the joints which can be seen with imaging - but if you were started on your medication early enough and the RA is currently in remission than there wouldn't be any inflammation to see I imagine, though I'm no expert. 

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    • Posted

      They are Bouchard's nodes. I am also thinking that may by the RA is in remission. I have an appointment with a third rheumatologist. Will see what he says.
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  • Posted

    Like Eileen was wondering what kind of deformity you were seeing. If it's enlarged joints that can be RA or O A.

    as far as I understand it, it's the inflammation in the joint lining( synovium) which causes deterioration in the surrounding bone leading to deformities where the finger is no longer straight, or starts to point sideways( ulnar drift)

    So don't know how there would be joint damage without inflammation. 

    Hope you get some clarification.

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  • Posted

    Hi dancingG,

    I was diagnosed with Lupus Arthritis this year and found out there are over 100 different types of Arthritis. It concerns me the doctor stopped your meds, I worry that in a couple of months you will start seeing and feeling the other effects Arthritis has on the body. Fatigue, etc. My point is ...maybe you should explore other types of Arthritis and not narrow your options to RA or Oteo. Good luck and feel better,


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