Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Risk Factors

  • Women > men
  • Age 30-55


  • Subacute (>6w)
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent/progressive joint pain
  • Worse in AM due to gelling→ improves w/use
  • Tendency for bilateral involvement, commonly small and medium sized joints
  • Nerve symptoms can be motor. sensory or from compression
  • SOB/DOE related to interstitial lung disease, nodules, pleural dz, pulmonary htn, or pericardial dz

Physical Exam Findings

  • Effusion
  • Warmth, redness, spongy feeling from synovial inflamed
  • Pain w/squeezing of joints
  • Abnormal appearing joints if longstanding
  • MCPs with chronic changes
  • Extra articular findings: episcleritis, pleural/pericardial inflame, rheumatoid nodules
  • Peripheral neuropathy related: decreased distal sensation, weakness, diminished reflexes