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I have a question, and I can't think of any place better to ask than this forum. I love reading your posts every day, and have learned much from all of you. I was dx'd a year ago with Inflammatory Arthritis. I'm completely seronegative on all tests. The doctor dx'd me based on small erosion on right hand and my symptoms. I had repeat x-rays done the other day on my hands and nothing has changed. Does that mean that the Hydoxy is helping to stop the erosion from getting worse? And do you always have erosions with RA? I have pain all over the joints in my hands, but only the one erosion. Do you have pain without erosions? Thanks for any input!!

Gentle Hugs,


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I think quite a lot of people here have seronegative RA and even seropositive with few or no erosions. I haven't had my joints checked by x-Ray for a while but don't think I have any at all - just a stick out twisted pinky on my right hand. I was told by my rheumy that this shows non erosive RA - although he's mindful that my two and half years on four different DMARDs may well have prevented erosion and chased off most visible swelling bar a few possibly stiff and raised knuckles and one knee.

I'm only on steroids now for systemic inflammation - which has made me very ill this year I think - although drug allergies haven't helped. I have confirmed autoimmune disease so probably fit the Undifferentiated Connective Tissue (UCTD) Disease heading more now than RA I'm guessing.

My RA may not be eroding my joints but my nerves, blood vessels, organs all feel as if they are under siege and my ESR flies high without steroids so I don't feel I'm in any kind of remission - just a Seronegative shadowland which actually scares me more than my original RA in many ways .

Hydroxy alone could be holding your RA at bay - that's why you are taking it after all. But being Seronegative and non erosive doesn't mean the disease can't slowly cause damage and won't make you feel pained and ill sometimes so I would try to stay on Hydroxy until your rheumy tells you otherwise. Twitchy

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Is your diagnosis seronegative RA? Because it could be psoriatic arthritis or another form of inflammatory arthritis. Not that it makes much difference regarding your question here, I'm just wondering that's all.

It is possible to have psoriatic arthritis (which I have) without getting erosions and I understand that the same is true for RA. But as you already have erosions, it would look like your form of inflammatory arthritis does cause them. Unless what the x-ray showed was osteoarthritis. Inflammation from inflammatory arthritis can cause osteoarthritis even though osteo can occur as a separate disease.

Seems the hydroxy is working .... or it could be that you have a mild form of the disease that isn't going to trouble you too much. Some level of pain does seem to go with the territory however. But pain isn't always a sign that anything bad is happening - it took me a long time to get my head around that one!

Sounds like you're doing great! Long may it continue.

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..... but I didn't mean to downplay the pain you're experiencing. There may be things that could help with that, hand splints perhaps or pain killers for when it's particularly bad. Definitely something to ask your rheumy about.

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You don't always get erosions with inflammatory arthritis, especially if your disease is well controlled and is not an aggressive erosive type. But there's so much variation that it's impossible to give firm answers, so sadly you just have to wait and see. As other have said pain and erosions can be separate things, so that doesn't give you much of a clue either. But if there's been little change in a year then that's good news, so you can focus on pain control.

My sister has an inflammatory hand arthritis and the hydroxy has really made a difference to her.


Thanks everyone! I'm hoping that the Hydroxy is indeed keeping the erosions at bay. I know it's really helped the pain. It's at least bearable now. :-) I love this group! Always so wonderful about helping others with their questions! You are great!


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