Rheumatoid knots vs. osteoarthritis knots- I was diagnosed in Sept. 09 with RA. One concluding factor (among many) were the rheumatoid knots on the top joints of my thumbs and some fingers. I now have one on my heel. My first question is, do these knots ever go away? If pressed a certain way they hurt! =(
Second question- is there such a thing as osteoarthritis knots? I saw my primary Friday for an x-ray and she noted my knots could be osteoarthritis knots too. I looked at her thinking..."I wasn't diagnosed with that type of arthritis." Geez, how many different types could I be diagnosed with? One is certainly enough for me.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. If anyone has any advice on how to at least ease the pain in my knots, I would appreciate it beyond belief!
Unfortunately, it is possible to have more than one type of arthritis - my rheumatologist tells me that although most of my body has RA, my spine has OA. I have no idea how she knows. Next time you see you rheumatologist talk to them about it - they should be able to give you more details.
I'm not sure what you mean by knot, but it's possible that what you're describing is something called nodules, although based on my research, nodules are supposed to not hurt, so maybe not. To be honest, I don't know much about nodules, but we are planning to get a doctor to write an article about the topic in the next month or so, so keep an eye out for that. Another possibility is that your knots are a sign of joint deformity in combination with disease activity. What RA meds are you on? Is your disease well suppressed, i.e., is the swelling, redness and pain controlled? If not, talk to your doctor about treatment options to suppress your RA which could potentially alleviate the knots. Keep in mind that I'm not a doctor and I haven't seen your hands, so your best option is to talk to your rheumatologist about it.
Thank you for your response. Nodules are a better term than knots. They just feel and look like knots on my joints! =) I was diagnosed in September and at first I was on Humira (bi-monthly then weekly after a month or so) and 7.5 mg of methotrexate. After three months or so they switched me to Enbrel (weekly) and upped me to 20mg of methotrexate. My RA isn't under control yet. The swelling, redness, stiffness, and overall agony is like wild fire right now. I have another appt. the 26th with the rheum dr. Hopefully I'll know more.
I had one nodule when diagnosed and now I have 4. The one on my thumb joint is the worst. Again, I appreciate your response and will look into the osteoarthritis and nodules. I know you aren't a doctor but as a fellow sufferer do you suggest any other meds (already on enbrel, metho, vitamin d, folic acid, and calcium) that I'm not taking? I would be happy to mention them at my next appt.
Thank you so much!
I'm sorry that your RA appears to be stubborn. I see from your profile that you're relatively new to diagnosed and it's quite common for it to take a while to find a medication that works for you. You've been on the meds long enough that if they were to kick in, they probably would have shown signs of it by now, so I would recommend discussing treatment options with your rheumatologist at the next appointment. There are a number of other Biologics out there like Remicade and Orencia as well as the newer Simponi and Cimzia, so you may want to have a chat with your doctor about either adding another medication or perhaps switching from Enbrel to one or the other Biologics. For particularly stubborn cases of RA, Rituxan may be helpful - you can read more about this type of medication in Lisa Emrich's posts on her first and second infusion.
Let me know how things go at your next appointment?
I went to the RA doctor today. She increased my methotrexate to 8 pills a week (boooo), added cymbalta, voltran gel for my awful thumb, and still wants me to continue with Enbrel for now. I brought up the above mentioned medications but I will continue with this new regiment for the next 8 weeks until my next appointment. My sed rate is still out of control and I think she concluded that I am having a "flare up". I'm a bit bummed today but hopefully will be a bit better soon. I described to my doctor that I understand that I will never be 100% but right now I can honestly say I am functioning at 40%. I told her aiming for 75% didn't seem to be too greedy haha. Thanks a lot for your concern.
You're right - aiming for 75% is definitely not greedy. Quite reasonable, in fact and given how new you are to this disease, you may even be able to aim a little higher.
it sounds like your doctor. is being quite reasonable in her approach and that giving you a bit more time to react to the medications may do the trick. did she give you prednisone to bridge the gap while you wait for the increase in medication to kick in? If not, give her a call and ask if that may be an idea. at the end of the day, this is your body and your life and you're the one who has to face getting up every morning in a lot of pain, so if you want to pursue other options, it's definitely something that you should talk to her about at the next appointment. Check out my post on becoming a good self advocate for tips on talking to doctors.
I hope you get some relief soon.
my "knots" actually went away. I even had bad ones on my fore arms near my elbows. I used to think they were like bone spurs because they were hard and didn't move. Nope! just a part of swelling.