Normal ultrasound raised RF and joint pain. - NRAS


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Normal ultrasound raised RF and joint pain.

Nomoney2018 profile image

Hi, pain started in my right thumb in July and shortly after pain started in my left thumb. I saw my GP who did blood tests my RF was nearly 400 so was referred to a rheumatologist. At my appointment the rheumatologist said that clinically I wasn't showing RA and she said I tested positive for the grind test so she advised I have osteoarthritis she referred my cortisone injections in both thumbs. Since my appointment with her I now have joint pain in other fingers and in my neck. Went for ultrasound guided injections today but was told that ultrasound was normal so nowhere to Inject. I am now so confused as am still in a lot of pain and no proper diagnosis. Why would I have high rf and pain. So frustrated. Any advice would be great. Thanks 😀

4 Replies

Osteoarthritis is not a nothing diagnosis. OA can be hellish, and far worse than a bit of a twinge in a joint now and then. So it's entirely possible that your pain comes from OA. Necks also tend to be OA as the joint that RA attacks most in your neck is the first vertebrae and that's usually when you have advanced erosive RA.

And as for the RF result. Well it isn't a very specific test, so people do test positive without having any arthritis of any sort at all. Did they do the anti-CCP test as well, as that is more specific? And do you have other indications of RA like raised inflammation markers, hot and swollen joints and systemic symptoms? As docs usually base a diagnosis on a range of things, not just one.

Equally the high RF could just mean that you are at a very early stage. For some people it can take years for the disease to develop fully, and for them to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately. So you have to keep returning to the doctors. Amd certainly talk to them again about pain relief.

But it does mean that you probably have the greatest chance to help yourself with lifestyle changes and slow or stop the disease developing. It does seem from research that it could be possible to alter the course of the disease at a pre-RA stage. So stress, sleep, smoking, weight, exercise and rubbish diet. Fixing all those, if you need to, can help.

Thanks for your reply. All other blood tests were normal. I just have pain in my feet and my fingers and my neck. There is some squaring to the joints in my thumb there is a small amount of swelling in thumb joints and fingers. The ultrasound showed no issues with bone or tendons. Neck pain is confined to the left side of my neck and although the pain is always there some days are worse than others. I saw my dad go through severe RA and I know it's an awful disease. At present am taking pregablin for the pain. I guess I just want to know what is wrong.

It often takes time to work out what is going on and the pattern of the illness only becomes clear with time. I know that isn't much consolation to you at present but do ask for proper pain relief and continued assessment.

Nomoney2018 profile image
Nomoney2018 in reply to oldtimer

Thank you. The radiologist who was doing the ultrasound is sending a report and my GP is contacting the rheumatology department to get me back in.

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