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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Does Having Heberden and Bouchard`s Nodes Indicate Osteoarthritis?

03/12/2008

Question:

I was recently diagnosed with having Heberden and Bouchard`s nodes, but have no markers for inflammation in my blood and currently no deterioration of my joints/bones. Does this mean I have osteoarthritis? Should I be anticipating damage in the future? (I`m only 22)

Answer:

Heberden's and Bouchard's nodes are physical exam findings. The bone proliferation that can occur at the end (Heberden's) and middle (Bouchard's) knuckles of the fingers result in a knobby appearance of these joints. Both can occur in the setting of osteoarthritis, particularly Heberden's nodes. Osteoarthritis is typically a slow, degenerative arthritis as opposed to a rapid, destructive arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis.

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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