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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Arthritis symptoms...so why not arthritis?

04/02/2007

Question:

Please advise...I have been having what my doctor calls "arthritis symptoms." Morning stiffness; muscle stiffness after sitting so it is hard to get out of a chair; stiff and sore ankles, that hurt when I stand up---today they burn and feel real tight; stiffness in both wrists and all fingers, and weakness in my knees. My knees do not bend right and are so weak that it is hard to climb steps. At night my knees ache real bad, but feel better as the day progresses. I also feel sick a lot. I was sent to have blood tests for an arthritis work-up. Today I called and found out the results of my blood work. The nurse said they were all normal. ESR-15. RF-negative. ANA-negative. If I have arthritis symptoms, why are my blood tests negative? Should I be tested for another kind of arthritis?

Answer:

There are many different types of arthritides or diseases that may have associated joint pains. As an example, the most common type of arthritis is Osteoarthritis (OA), typically characterized as a degenerative joint disease. OA is one type of arthritis where laboratories have not been found to be helpful in disease diagnosis or disease monitoring. Your personal physician may be able to provide you with the specific arthritic condition that affects you.

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Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University