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How did you approach your doctor about being tested for RA?

I am currently scheduled for a hip replacement due to arthritis soon but my hands and feet have been on fire for months now. I'd like more answers but not sure how to bring the issue up with my Dr.

  1. Great question 😀 Speaking with your doctor about your pain doesn't have to be difficult. Depending on which doctor you are most comfortable with and possible comorbidities you may be experiencing, you could start the conversation with a few different doctors. Many people start with their primary care doctor, but as you are scheduled for a hip replacement, I'd imagine that you possibly have an orthopedist or even a rheumatologist.
    If you have a rheumatologist, they are your best bet. You could start by explaining the pain you have been experiencing (severity, locations, and how often) and be sure to bring any documentation you might have ( for example-pics of swollen fingers). They are likely to send you for blood work and testing. Here is a great link to information it would be good to know about diagnosis.

    The most important thing is to be clear, prepared, and choose a doctor that you are most comfortable with. Finding the right diagnosis of RA can be a long process so be prepared to be patient and if needed,get a second or third opinion. I'm sure the rest of our community will chime in with tips on how to talk with your doctor as well. You can also use the search bar at the top to find more articles on the topic. Please take care and best of luck to you! -Leanne, Community Moderator

    1. Kannroome,

      As a person who has had a hip replacement, I think that you should first bring it up with the Rheumatologist (if you are seeing one), PCP if not, and likely I would pass on the Surgeon. But if the surgeon asks of course I would discuss it.

      I do not say this in order to hide it from the surgeon, it is just that most surgeons I have had care little about dealing with anything not immediately on their plate. Telling them is fine, it just does not seem to help much when I raise such issues.

      I hope you are able to the root of the issues you describe. I know it must be awful. I you can find a wonderful treatment.

      rick- moderator

      1. Most doctors are fairly easy about doing basic blood panels. I would ask her to order RA testing along with your regular blood work. My endocrinologist found I have RA after I discussed it with him. Of course he suggested a rheumatologist and advised I see him immediately. I did and that doctor ordered additional blood work and a physical examination to make the determination.

        So the key part ask your PCP, or other doctor for a referral or to do some rudimentary blood work. Most will.

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