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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Are Osteoarthritis and Fybromyalgia Linked?

01/02/2008

Question:

Hello, I`m 33yrs old and have recently been diagnosed with muscular rheumatism. For the past 4-5 years, I`ve been loosing power in my right arm and eventually in most of my limbs. Other symptoms are blurred vision, headaches, slurred speech, forgetfulness, clumsiness, bowl problems, sore joints, stiff joints, cracking joints (sometimes not sore), cramps or spasms in the muscles, burning sensation/pins and needles, and extreme fatigue. Even after sleeping, which I find hard to do, I wake up feeling like i haven`t slept at all. I`ve had an MRI scan done which showed up normal, but going on what I`ve read, it`s possible the MRI might not show it up. I was told some years ago that I had Osteoarthritis in my back, and I wonder if the two conditions could be connected. Would it be possible that I have some kind of bone related problem? I would really appreciate your thoughts on this matter. Kind regards.

Answer:

If your MRI was normal, it's unlikely that osteoarthritis of the spine is causing your symptoms. MRI would not show a peripheral neuropathy which may account for some of your symptoms. Some symptoms also sound like there may be involvement of the brain. Neurology evaluation is most appropriate if not done so already.

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Response by:

Johnny  Su, MD Johnny Su, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University