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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Arthritis or not?

04/05/2007

Question:

I have extreme pain in my joints. All of them move in and out of place with ease/ and pain. I have had shoulder replacement. Now my fingers are begining to deform, the end of them goes to the side. In the mornings my legs are numb and I feel drunk even though I do not drink. When I ask my doctor she says that I have fibermyalgia and I work to much, and then just wants to write me a perscription, I do not take pain pills and I dont want them I just want to find out what is going on with me. She has done blood work for arthritis and she says that I do not have it. Is there any suggestions, because I am only in my 30`s and I feel like I am in my 80`s.

Answer:

There are many different types of arthritides, or, if not a primary arthritis, diseases and syndromes that may cause joint pain. Depending on the type of arthritis being sought, laboratories may or may not be helpful. There are syndromes where ligamentous hypermobility (“loose jointed” or “double-jointed”) can be associated with joint pain (not necessarily arthritis). Your physician or your Rheumatologist may be able to diagnose a hypermobility syndrome based on certain clinical criteria. If there is a heritable collagen dysfunction suspected, geneticists may be able to screen further.

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Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University