20,869 members16,565 posts

Lupus Arthritis ??

My elderly mother has been diagnosed with Lupus Arthritis. She insists she does not have 'lupus' but only 'lupus arthritis'. She has many ailments (rash, swelling of hands/feet, horrible cough). I admit confusion due to lack of information on the term 'lupus arthritis' in itself and lack of information from the doctors themselves possibly due to her age. Any assistance much appreciated.

5 Replies


Lupus arthritis is when lupus affects the joints, making them inflamed and causing pain and swelling. The joints most frequently involved in this inflammation or arthritis are the hand joints, the wrists and the knees, although any joint can be involved. The arthritis frequently comes and goes and affects different joints at different times.

The ligaments and tendons around the joints can also become inflamed and tender. If the inflammation is not brought under control with medication and continues for a long period of time the tendons and ligaments can weaken. Once this happens the tendons and ligaments can no longer support the joint properly. The affected joint becomes lax, or unstable, and can appear to be deformed. The hand joints are the most frequently affected by such deformities. The underlying bones themselves are not affected by the arthritis in lupus, and at least initially the deformities can be painlessly corrected by pushing the joint back into position.


Thanks Paul for your response. Is there a difference diagnostically between lupus and lupus arthritis? Worded another way - if she has been diagnosed with lupus arthritis is she diagnosed with lupus? As mentioned in my first posting she has the rash flareups, the swelling flareups, and the arthritis (felt for years to be RA), as well as a few more issues which could be related or not (depending on the answer to my second sentence I guess). She is now suffering from a terrible cough which has prompted me to ask a few more questions to make sure she is receiving all the help she should be. Potentially complicating things is her age (82) and her response of 'I don't have lupus - I have lupus arthritis'. Can you see why I'm a bit confused at this point? Thanks!


Hi. I'm afraid my knowledge of lupus arthritis doesn't go any further than the information that I have given you. We're not medically trained here.

I believe it is possible that she could have lupus, but that it only affects her joints, hence the label of lupus arthritis. If this is the case, it could be that the lupus will not affect her in another way. - but don't take my word for this.

If you think it would be helpful, I could private message you the number for one of our specialist lupus nurses, and she may be able to give you a better idea of what is happening with your mum?


That would be nice of you. What do I have to do for you to private message me?


Nothing at all :) Just check the message that I have sent you.


You may also like...