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Family history of rheumatoid arthritis. Have joint pain, wrist pain, locking fingers. Sign of arthritis?

My mother passed away recently, she was crippled (registered disabled) by rheumatoid arthritis and I am a bit concerned that some form of arthritis is raising its head in me! I am just over 50 and I am getting pain in various joints, particularly my left elbow and wrist , my elbow is painful right from the first movement when I wake up, it is aggravated considerably by lifting anything heavy with my left arm . The wrist has been a problem for longer but the level of pain, uncomfortable to bad, rather depends what I m doing with it. I play guitar and twisting the wrist is uncomfortable to say the least and if I persist the pain level rises considerably and subsides very, very slowly, into the following day. Another thing is the thumb , first finger and middle finger of my left hand will occasionally lock painfully and can only be freed by moving it with my right hand. When I do free them they want to snap back immediately into the locked position. When the thumb locks it s across the palm so that the tip is in line with the middle finger. When the first finger locks it s straight but at an angle of about 30 degrees towards the palm and angled towards the thumb. When the middle finger locks again it s towards the palm, to a lesser angle than the first finger but again slightly to the side. The locking fingers started about the same time as the problems with the wrist. Incidentally, the wrist and elbow were damaged a number of years ago in a motorcycling accident. I keep threatening to see a doctor about it but do not like bothering them if it is nothing. At the moment the joint pain and locking fingers are an inconvenience but I am concerned it is the sign of something more.
Asked On : Tue, 29 Jan 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  88
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello,, Indeed, it is a very good description of your condition, and I would definitely suggest that you get some basic tests done and start treatment, as it is a very strong possibility that you have Rheumatoid artheritis.

The locking painful small joints of the left hand together with the wrist and elbow are very characteristic, with morning pains and stiffness.

There is very little to get scared about this condition as very good new drugs are available. It is very rare to see crippling deformities due to Rh Artheritis.

The follow - up schedule of the disease has been widely accepted based upon the disease activity signs, you could refer to the DAS score ( ) which will help you get the confidence to treat better and remain cheerful

On the drugs to be used you need to be reviewed with the lab reports and X-rays.

With best wishes

Answered: Wed, 13 Nov 2013
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