Tenosynovitis

I’ve been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis for 13 years and thought I had the physical manifestations of the disease down…nope.

Last fall I started having weird pain in my left leg; a shooting pain that originated behind my knee and would travel up and/or down my leg at random. It wasn’t linked to sitting, standing, laying, walking, nothing. It happened randomly or for short periods of time then would be no problem. Talked to the Rheumy about it and she didn’t seem concerned. After a few months of it, I was used to it just like I was used to the bum hip, painful shoulder, and unbending finger. Then, the shooting pains were accompanied by muscle spasms that caused my leg to kick out randomly. This was not convenient in meetings when I’d accidently kick the person sitting next to me!

On top of the shooting pain and muscle spasms in my left leg I started having similar pain in my hands and feet that was causing cramping. It felt very different than the typical RA joint stiffness and pain. Turns out…tenosynovitis which is inflammation and swelling of the tendon and tendon sheath (synovium). This has led to tight muscles, muscle cramps, and more pain. Apparently inflammation of tendons doesn’t respond as well to anti-inflammatory drugs as inflammation in joints. 30mg daily of steroids helped, but wasn’t sustainable. I had to get my RA under control. We increased the dosing of my biologic and that is starting to help, thankfully. Hopefully I can get off the steroids soon.

Between this, the occasional costochondritis (rib swelling), inflammation in the larynx causing me to sound like Peter Brady in puberty, and weird dry eyes…I seem to luck out with odd symptoms.

Just when I think I understand the effects of RA something new pops up. Such is life with a chronic disease.

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