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Old 04-04-2005, 11:12 AM   #1
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Does this sound like osteoarthritis or RA?

Several years ago I was told I had Reactive arthritis, but for the past month I've had severe pain that does not feel or act like what I experienced with reactive. This pain comes from my wrists (both hands), but I don't think it's carpal tunnel. It seems to radiate throughout my hands and is so painful that it often wakes me up during the night. The mornings are bad and then it becomes tolerable throughout the day. Holding a phone is almost unbearable or holding anything in a grasp. I have no strength in my hands at all. Brushing my teeth and hair can be excruciating in the mornings. I had been taking Mobic but got no relief for this. The joints in my fingers are somewhat inflamed, but I see no redness/swelling in my wrists. My appt. with my rheumatologist isn't for a couple of weeks, but I don't know if I can wait that long. He's done blood tests before for RA, but they're always negative. Can anyone tell me if this pain in my wrists/hands sounds like osteoarthritis, RA, something else?

 
Old 04-04-2005, 01:44 PM   #2
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Re: Does this sound like osteoarthritis or RA?

Janet23,

I have RA. I have pain in both my wrists and most of my knuckles. I have little or no swelling. Sometimes the pain is in the palm of the hands. You are right - forget trying to grip anything. It's much too painful. I also occasionally have migratory pain. I did have positive blood tests (RF, Anti-CCP, Sed Rate, CRP), although I understand that some people are termed seronegative. So, you don't have to have positive lab tests to be diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

If the pain is in the palm of your hand, I would lean more toward RA than OA. Also, mentioning that you felt worse in the morning is another indication of RA.

Best of luck.

 
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Old 04-04-2005, 03:08 PM   #3
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Re: Does this sound like osteoarthritis or RA?

Wow, I was just going to post something similar. I have OA, and have cervical fusion that failed. Lately, my arthritis has gotten real bad. I have it in my hands, feet, ankles, knees an elbows. Mornings are terrible, I wake in the night with my arm/elbow so painful. I just went again to my PM today and having BP issues, from pain I think, but 160/110. I also had a high ANA test yrs ago and now wondering if it may have bee lupus? but ana can also be related RA? I am going to make an appt with a Rheumi tomorrow. I am taking hydro's and xanax as needed but Aleve seems to help some.
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:20 PM   #4
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Re: Does this sound like osteoarthritis or RA?

Thanks for your input. I don't know if you are male or female or your ages, but if you are female, I have another question: do hormones affect your joint pain? I am 49, had a partial hysterectomy 7 years ago, and have been trying various degrees of HRT on for size after getting off Premarin, which I had taken since my surgery. I've read about joint pain and hormone imbalance, but I'm not sure if that's what this is. If I don't see improvement in the next day or 2, I'm probably going to call my dr. and see if he can work me in earlier than my appt. date. Thanks!

 
Old 04-04-2005, 08:23 PM   #5
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Re: Does this sound like osteoarthritis or RA?

I have seronegative RA. The only test that came back definitely abnormal was my CRP. The rest of it was pretty unimpressive. I have 5 of the 7 criteria for RA, hence the diagnosis despite no postive blood work. I started Remicade a few weeks ago and my joint pain is not longer bad at all. Before Remicade, I couldn't make a fist and had trouble gripping/grasping. Do see if your rheumy can get you in faster.

 
Old 04-05-2005, 07:23 AM   #6
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Re: Does this sound like osteoarthritis or RA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by janet23
Thanks for your input. I don't know if you are male or female or your ages, but if you are female, I have another question: do hormones affect your joint pain? I am 49, had a partial hysterectomy 7 years ago, and have been trying various degrees of HRT on for size after getting off Premarin, which I had taken since my surgery. I've read about joint pain and hormone imbalance, but I'm not sure if that's what this is. If I don't see improvement in the next day or 2, I'm probably going to call my dr. and see if he can work me in earlier than my appt. date. Thanks!
Hi Janet, I am 48 female, yes I too had a partial hysterectomy in my early 20's and then the remaining ovary removed a few yrs ago. I have heard that the lack of hormones, along with losing those body parts effects our bodies in so many ways. I tried hrt but gave it up, now I am trying DHEA and found some relief from that. Trying to get a doctor to really "listen" and not just prescribe anti D's is getting so upsetting for me!!! I just got back from my pm and only spoke with his "assistant" for bp ck and then tossed out the door. My problem is no health insurance so they don't want to spend time with me.
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Old 04-05-2005, 09:20 PM   #7
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Re: Does this sound like osteoarthritis or RA?

I also have RA that lives mostly in my wrists and hands. I had pain and swelling and a solid mass of flesh over the tops of my hands so that it looked as tho' I had no knuckles at all. My Dr. put me on Methotrexate, Embrel and Mobic and the swelling went away but most of the pain stayed. I can live with that as it only really bothers me on stinky rainy cool days. Who needs a weather man? I had another Dr. prescribe percocet for another problem and found that I have a life again. I can crochet, knit, latch hook, sew, I can even use a knife and fork again. The percocet is a low dose and I am careful with it. My RA is also in my feet, knees (OA) there, hips and shoulders, and I'm beginning to suspect my spine may be involved also. I just spent 9 days in the hospital and the only place they could find to put an IV was the base of my wrists, yes, I had two of them, and when they blasted, they moved them to the backs of my hands. I'm still trying to get over those. By the way I'm female on the other side of young, but I hurt just like you guys do. Good luck to you all.

 
Old 04-06-2005, 04:07 AM   #8
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Re: Does this sound like osteoarthritis or RA?

I really appreciate the input you all have given me. Yesterday I decided to experiment more and put my hormone patch back on full strength. The day before I had ditched the Mobic, which didn't seem to help much, and resumed taking Bextra(yes, I know the risks). I think the hormones played a definite part because the pain is not as bad now, but the swelling seems to be worse in the mornings. At least I wasn't awakened in the night by the pain. It's funny you mentioned crocheting, Susan, because several months ago I began a crochet project (new to that) and that's when this hand thing got started. Needless to say, I've had to put my crocheting aside. I am a teacher, and when holding a pen/pencil becomes a chore, that's not good!

 
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