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What could be the reason for joint pain and swelling?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
dear sir,
my mother is 80 years old. she gets frequent unbearable joint pains. suddenly the joints swell and become red. Pain will be there for 2 or 3 days. If she uses a pain killer, pain gets reduced and she becomes normal after 2 or 3 days. This symptoms recur quite often, once or twice in a month.
Blood reports suggest high ESR (>90) and high CRP(>12). RA factor and ASO have come -ve. What could be the reason? Pl suggest
Posted Tue, 24 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Follow-up: What could be the reason for joint pain and swelling? 6 minutes later
Can the problem be solved?
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 24 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query. Three possibilities are there for such sudden swelling and pain of joints which subsides after 2-3 days. These possibilities include:

1)Rheumatoid arthritis: It may cause stiffness and pain with movement. Over time, deformity of the fingers may occur. Diagnosed by ESR and Rheumatoid factor in blood. ESR is already rasied in your mother’s case, however the RA factor is negative. But the best test for confirmation for rheumatoid arthritis is antiCCP antibody (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody) which is the latest and most confirmatory test for rheumatoid arthritis.

2)     The second possibility is of gout which is an inflammatory joint disease that causes acute pain and swelling in the joints. Mainly big toe is affected but it can involve any joint. Diagnosed by uric acid levels in the blood and microscopic examination of fluid drawn from the joints.

3)     Last possibility is of Lyme’s disease which is a long-lasting autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks normal body tissues as though they were foreign substances. It may cause joint pain. Diagnosed by XXXXXXX titres.

I suggest you to get these three possibilities ruled out from a rheumatologist (joints expert). Treatment will depend on the diagnosis and progression of disease. It can be treated but will depend on the severity of disease.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

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