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Author Topic: Sudden onset rhuematoid arthritis  (Read 9813 times)

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Offline Kaddydee

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Sudden onset rhuematoid arthritis
« on: February 15, 2013, 03:38:20 AM »
Hi everyone,

I was wondering if there is anyone out there who has experienced sudden onset rhuematoid arthritis in their knees.  If there is I'd love to hear your stories.

I've been a mystery to surgeons for a few months.  Over the last 8 months my knee has gone from being a perfectly healthy knee with a small meniscus tear to a knee that has lost most of it's cartilage, is constantly inflamed, aches when inactive and has no movement (15-40degrees). I've had a number of arthroscopic surgeries plus washouts after suspected staph infection.  I was a case study at a public hospital yesterday and there were 6 surgeons plus drs and physios who examined my knee and scans.  Everyone was baffled by my case - there are elements of infection, CRPS, arthrofibrosis (which has been discussed in the past few months) but yesterday they thought that maybe I had sudden onset rhuematoid arthritis which may have been triggered by surgery/infection.

I've been booked in to see a rhuematologist in the next few weeks but until then I want to read up and hear people's stories.  From what I've read online my symptoms match - inflammation, stiffness after inactivity, cartilage damage, severe pain etc but these symptoms also match CRPS and infection!!

If it is RA, I'm hoping that I can start some drugs that will reduce the inflammation and the damage that is ongoing in my knee.  Surgeons won't operate again until my knee has settled down.

I could write pages about my experience but I think this gives you some idea about what's going on.  Any stories or ideas would be appreciated!!!

Kaddydee - 35 year old Mum wanting to be active with her kids and husband

Offline DakotaD

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Re: Sudden onset rhuematoid arthritis
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 03:39:13 PM »
Kaddydee,  I am sorry to hear you've had so much trouble in the past few months, and it sounds like a good rheumatologist is the place to go.  You mention the possibility of an infection, I'm assuming you've had a good dose of antibiotics to clear up any lingering remnants of that?

Offline Kaddydee

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Re: Sudden onset rhuematoid arthritis
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2013, 09:11:52 PM »
Hi Dvase

They only ever found traces of Staph in the broth (inconclusive).  Blood tests were negative excecpt for CRP (inflammation) which was greatly elavated (380 instead of under 5) and they found no trace of infection inside the knee.  Even still, I a had a picc line inserted and had constant antibiotics for 6 weeks followed by 4 weeks of tablets.  By the end of time my CRP level was normal.

I've decided to go to the GP this week and get some RA blood tests done.  That way I have some way of knowing what's going on before I see the specialist.

Kaddydee


Offline moose700

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Re: Sudden onset rhuematoid arthritis
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 12:53:03 AM »
Hi Kaddydee,

I'm a long time visitor to this site and registered because I am having a similar experience. I'm a 25 year old female and had an ACL reconstruction six years ago with full recovery. About two years ago, though, I tore my medial meniscus in the same knee. I immediately had meniscal repair surgery, but my knee remained swollen with decreased ROM for over a year and a half, leading my doctor to conclude the repair had failed. Sure enough, when he went in five months ago he found the meniscus was unsalvageable and removed the whole thing. We thought that was the irritant, but over the past five months my pain and swelling have intensified.

The only abnormality in my bloodwork/synovial fluid are a high WBC (60,000) and C reactive protein. My doctors are likewise baffled. They think it is either a low-lying infection or inflammatory arthritis. But neither seems to fit entirely. As for the infection, it seems unlikely that I could tolerate an infection for nearly two years. As for inflammatory arthritis, none of my other joints are problematic and I'm negative for the RA factor.

I had a synovectomy last week and am awaiting the lab results now. Any other news on your end?

Offline Kaddydee

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Re: Sudden onset rhuematoid arthritis
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2013, 01:36:40 AM »
Hi Moose

Very interesting!!!  It does sound very similar to me.
I had my arthritis blood tests the other day and they all came back negative (including CRP) except for low iron.
I'm still waiting to hear when my Rheumatoid appointment will be.  I read the other day that Rheumatologists are like detectives trying to work out what type of arthritis it can be - they'll have to be pretty good detectives to work me out!!!
I'm still living without too much pain and getting pretty good at walking/limping with a straight leg.  The only time I really notice it is when I'm still - watching TV or sleeping - that's when the burn/ache starts and I get really stiff. 
I'm enjoying not having too many appointments/physio and just getting on with life.  I know that once the appointments and operations start again then my life and my families life will be hard work for many months.

I hope you find some answers soon - let me know anything interesting that the specialists come up with.
Kaddydee

Offline moose700

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Re: Sudden onset rhuematoid arthritis
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2013, 03:26:48 AM »
Kaddydee,

Best of luck with your upcoming appointment! I will keep you posted on what my doctors say.

Feel good,
Moose

Offline moose700

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Re: Sudden onset rhuematoid arthritis
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2013, 11:12:56 AM »
I'm still waiting on some lab results from my synovectomy, but it's looking like they didn't gain much insight into the cause of the inflammation. There were no traces of bacterial infection or changes consistent with RA onset in the biopsied tissue. My guess is that they are going to put me on something like methotrexate and just see if it can bring the swelling down. My knee is still really swollen from the procedure, and I'm worried that it will stay like this for a while because there's obviously some sort of systemic problem going on in my knee. On a more positive note, a cortisone shot I had a month ago apparently decreased my WBC pretty significantly (60,000-->20,000).

Offline Kaddydee

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Re: Sudden onset rhuematoid arthritis
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2013, 07:30:09 AM »
Hi Moose,
Thanks for keeping me up to date with your knee. 
I'm sorry to hear that your knee continues to be swollen and it is frustrating to still have no clear answers.

I haven't had a synvectomy before - what do they do for that?
Will you have another cortisone shot in the future?

I still haven't heard any more about my appointment.  I'll follow it up this week.
My knee is still inflammed and stiff but seems to be coping more and more with the extra activities I'm getting back into.  Some days it feels quite loose and I think I've turned a corner but then other days it's like I've got a log in my knee and I can't force it to do anything. 

Fun and games!

Have a good weekend,

Kaddydee