Does anyone deal with asymmetrical knuckle pain?

I can’t find anyone with the same experience as me. First, I have my first Rheumatologist appointment in 2 weeks. I’ve dealt with hand weakness and occasional morning stiffness for years. Then last month an individual knuckle hurt. It hurt for 2 days. Stopped hurting, and then another single knuckle hurt. It was like the pain was jumping. As one joint felt better another one began to hurt. It moved between my knuckles and wrists on both hands, but much more on my right hand. I had no RF. Everything was normal in blood tests except for my sedimentation showing a small amount of inflammation. This jumping pain, anyone experience it?

My joint pain is currently limited to my hands and wrists. But the pain has an odd pattern. Only one joint/knuckle hurts at a time. When that one feels better another one becomes red and tender. Hurts to the touch, slight swelling. The pain seems to jump from joint to joint in my hands. I haven’t found anyone else with this symptom. My appt with the rheumatologist is in 2 weeks. Bloodwork showed no RA factor, normal in everything else, sedimentation shows slight inflammation.


Community Answers
  • Mary Sophia Hawks moderator
    4 days ago

    Gretchen, I hope your rheumatologist appointment went well. Richard gave you some great links to read. I am also seronegative and had the kind of joint pain you describe. We are all unique and therefore do not all have the same symptoms. There is a test called the VECTRA-DA that can show evidence of RA. Please keep coming back to our site for encouragement, we are always here. Mary Sophia

  • Richard Faust moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Hi GretchenJ. Sorry to hear you are having these hand symptoms, but glad you are getting to a rheumatologist to, hopefully, get some answers and started on a treatment. As Daniel said, seronegative RA is not rare. In fact, as this article on the topic points out, up to 30 percent of those with RA are seronegative: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/seronegative-ra-blood-tests-dont-tell-entire-story/. As you prepare for your first appointment, thought you might be interested in this article from one of our contributors on what to expect: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/what-to-expect-at-your-first-rheumatologist-appointment/. In addition, this article offers some ideas for questions for the rheumatologist: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/questions-for-the-doctor/. Wishing you the best and know that this community is here for you. Feel free to let us know how you are doing. Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    3 weeks ago

    @GretchenJ You are not alone! I have had knucles and joints in my hands, as well as my wrists, take turns and go back and forth for 30 years. Both of my pointer fingers have what they call “swan neck,” which means they look like, well, swan necks, cause they’re bent. I also am seronegative (no RF factor), and it’s nothing to worry about. We are here if you need anything, but you are not alone. Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

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