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Looking for answers.

Hi all.
I previously suffered with pain in my index finger joints and raised rheumatoid factor. I had COVID at Christmas and had further bloods taken after my illness. My GP advised that my rheumatoid factor was now raised to the point he couldn’t just ignore it. The pain in my hands (thumb joints and wrists), elbows and right foot across my toes is awful. I’ve had X-rays last week which were normal but am now having to take paracetamol, ibuprofen and dihydrocodeine for the pain. Tonight has been awful. Has anyone else experienced this issue with normal X-ray results. I’m waiting for call back from my GP to tell me “what next”. I need answers.


Thank you x


  1. I think the general answer is yes. Damage is cumulative not sporadic. .What i mean by that is I was in lots of pain for several years with no obvious damage. However, the damage was not really seen in X-Rays. In my case the X-Rays never showed the soft tissue damage. Or the range of motion damage. Overtime all of that would be reflected on X-Rays, but not immediately.



    I wonder if you have seen a Rheumatologist?



    rick - moderator

    1. Thank you Rick. I’ve not seen a Rheumatologist yet. My GP said he was going to write to one for some advice but that was before my normal X-ray result. I think the GP thinks it’s all COVID related but, as I told him, I had issues before COVID had ever been heard of. I could have literally cried yesterday with the pain in my hands.


      I sent a message to the GP surgery last week after I got the normal result on my X-ray saying “what now?” They are calling me sometime over the next few days to discuss it.


      Previously the pain was only sporadic and in the middle joint of my index fingers. That’s when the GP said even though my RF was raised they didn’t need to do anything about it and my normal X-ray result back then meant I could have a raised RF level for no apparent reason. Now the pain is every day and in the various joints of my hands and elbows so there’s definite progression. And my GP told me the RF is too high to “just ignore it”.


      Also my dad was diagnosed with RA about 6 years ago. He has had a hip replacement and is waiting for the other one to be done.


      Sounds really bad but I was hoping and praying something would come back on my X-rays not because I’m wishing anything on myself but just so I could have answers.


      Thank you again.

      1. I sure hope you find the answers!!

    2. Hi Amana226 ,
      I have. I am 67 and newly diagnosed. Also, had chronic hives and allergist informed seen with inflammed arthritis. Later diagnosed with RA by specialist.He ordered hand xrays and showed minor changes from arthitis. I am hoping caught earlier enough to control bone changes. This is new to me and the pain intensity is still a mystery how one day not too bad and other nights grrr. The weather and activity seems to be a trigger. Take care and I do care. I pray alot . Love elirose

      1. As I understand it, Ultrasounds, especially of the hands, are the imaging of choice at diagnosis. They can show inflammation, especially of the synovial lining of the joints. The goal of treatment is to control the disease process and prevent the type of damage (erosions) that show up on xrays. I encourage you to discuss getting hand with your GP. It could help with RA referral also. Good luck! With best wishes and hope, Jo.

        1. *that’s “discuss getting Hand Ultrasounds...”
          It does NOT sound really bad to wish they had seen someone on the xrays - I think we all feel relief when there is measurable proof to explain our symptoms and to guide treatment.
          A little tip, you can buy paraffin hand spas online - Wonderful for sore hands!
          Jo

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