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Old 08-15-2002, 01:51 PM   #1
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Angry Swollen Knuckles

Since being diagnosed with RA last month, I have now become over-analytical with my joints. (I constantly "inspect" my joints for swelling.) My ankles swell and I think they look bad, although no one else can really tell. Now, 1 or 2 knuckles at the base of my fingers are getting swollen (sort of what I attribute RA to look like in the hands). It's starting to freak me out. Although it is subtle, I can see the difference.

My question is, once my meds start kicking in and working on the inflammation in my body, will it also help reduce the inflammation in my knuckles? I have pretty skinny wrists and forearms, so I feel like it is so noticeable on my hands!!

Thanks for any input!
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Old 08-15-2002, 02:44 PM   #2
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Hi hellokitty! I have RA in my hands too and to answer your question, yes once the meds have kicked in you should notice your knuckles going back to normal. My hands were so swollen before I started the Prednisone that Im actually wearing rings 2 full sizes larger!! I had to have my engagement ring resized because I refuse not to wear it! LOL! Silly (I know) but I didnt want to be anymore different than I already am. My knuckles have gone down significantly though just in a week. Since you're noticing swelling developing while on medication, you might want to mention it to your RA. They might be able to add something to your regime to help reduce the swelling (or keep it away) in the meantime while you wait for your meds to kick in. Thats what they're doing with me. I just hope the Plaquenil works for me!

Hang in there!!

Meg
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Old 08-16-2002, 07:34 AM   #3
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Hi Meg -

Actually I was at my doctor last week and we are adding another medication, but that will also take some time to kick in (sulfasalazine). If you saw my other post, i basically told the doctor I wanted to try something else before methotrexate - which is what he wanted me to start. (I want to have a baby next year and don't want to try the MTX til after that). But, they generally don't prescrive Prednisone, so it seems like i just have to wait and see. I am also on Celebrex, but it semems to only have residual effects.

Ugh - Don't you just get frustrated?! Have they concluded for sure that you have RA or a viral induced arthritis?
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Old 08-16-2002, 08:39 AM   #4
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Hey!

First of all....what is your name? I just dont think saying "Hey Kitty" sounds right...but actually Kitty could be your name...

Anyway I am the "QUEEN" of swollen knuckles. Oh if you could see my knuckles you would feel so much better! I look like I am deformed http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/bigcry.gif

The doc put me on prednisone (see post above) to help eliminate it but I'm not sure if it is working. Seems to be helping reduce the swelling everywhere else though!

Hope yours doesnt stick around long. It really has impacted my life as the fluid that is building up decreases the mobility and usability of my hands. Make sure to keep exercising them so they don't stiffen up too much.

Take care!
Angela

 
Old 08-16-2002, 09:08 AM   #5
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My fingers & knuckles got so swollen that I am physically unable to make a fist. My fingers simply will not bend because of the swelling. Its probably been 6 months since my fingers were able to touch my palm. They were even starting to contract into my palm and werent straightening out. I dont know how much worse they could have gotten. The muscles in my forearms even are weak because of lack of use from my fingers. Im agine not even being able to open a bottle of soda or be able to open your own front door! It was awful!

Now that Im on the Prednisone, I feel so much better! My fingers are starting to straighten out and my knuckles are starting to reduce as well, but its going to take a while longer for them to get back to normal Im sure. I started on 20mg for a week then went to 10mg and now Im back on the 20mg and will be on this for a month before reducing to 10mg for a month and then 5 mg for a month. Then hopefully the Plaquenil will be working!!

I hope it works for you all! Hang in there!

Meg

 
Old 08-16-2002, 02:37 PM   #6
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Im surprised that your Rheumatologist wont prescribe Prednisone. Small doses arent too bad for you, unless your on it for an extended amount of time. But for just a few weeks or months to get things under control might be worth it. Id seek another opinion if it were me and my doctor said no to something less invasive than Meth.

As of yet, they cant tell if my case is viral-induced or not because it started too long ago and the toxins arent in my body anymore, just they're lingering after effects. However, my mom went to her doctor today and asked about me. He told her that since I was diagnosed Sero-Negative, there is a good chance that I will recover completely with little or no signs of it even being here, except some bad memories. He also said that viral induced cases are rare and are rarely systemic (meaning it wont go to my organs and cause further damage). But he did say that following treatment to the max is the only way to recover. So if you're in pain and still have swelling, you might want to talk to your doctor. Getting it under control is a major part of getting over it, or at least getting it into remission.

Are you really comfortable with your doctor otherwise? If not, might want to get a second opinion. I did and I couldnt be happier with my choice! He comes highly recommended and to me it was worth it! The first doctor I was a complete quack!

Meg


 
Old 08-19-2002, 06:46 AM   #7
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Hi Meg -

Actually, I have appointments with 2 other doctors scheduled for September and October (for 2nd and 3rd opinions). One of the doctor's is actually a friend of my brother's who is head of the rheumatology department at a nearby hospital. If I like either one of these guys better, I'm switching over to them! I think my current doctor is very good, just lacking a bit of a bedside manner - which is extremely important to me these days!!!!!

Allison
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Old 08-19-2002, 10:02 AM   #8
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Allison,

Thats great! I hope that they prove to be more empathetic to you than your current doc. Its important to have good doctors I think. Mine are well known doctors too and Im thrilled to be their patient!!

Today Im a little stiff. I think I over did it this weekend.

Hope your feeling okay today!

Meg

 
Old 08-19-2002, 10:24 AM   #9
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I'm feeling awfully stiff today, too! Sometimes I think it's the air conditioning in my office. We're in the middle of a heat wave (90 degrees and up) and I still have to wear a jackey or long sleeve shirt to work! But, atleast it's not been as humid today, so I definitely felt better when I woke up this morning - strange how my body knows what's going on outside before I do!

BTW - I hope your arthritis does go away on it's own! That would be great! But either way, I too have heard that sero negative RA is usually pretty mild and can go into remission quicker and for much longer!

Happy Monday!

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Old 08-19-2002, 11:52 AM   #10
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One more question -

Does anyone with RA have any pain/tenderness at the knuckle closest to the nail? Some of my fingers are tender there and supposedly that is only common in OA, not RA. It's so annoying when I am digging through my purse looking for my keys! My fingers hurt when I do that sometimes!!


Just wondering!
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Old 09-18-2002, 01:02 PM   #11
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Hi,
My 18 yr. old son has JRA. His knuckles are extremly big. They have went down some on current medications. The doctor doesn't think the rest will go down. It is sort of like scarring. He also has a trigger finger.
Michelle

 
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