About 10 weeks ago I had a sudden onset of symptoms resembling RA that involve almost all of my joints. My rheumatologist say that the blood work does not show anything, and the symptoms may be identical to a virus or it could be a neurologists’ area. How fast can be the damage to joints? In case of uncertainty, how frequent the monitoring should be? I was told to come in another 6 weeks.
The follow-up of six weeeks is reasonable because, by that time a viral arthritis should be resolving. Although with sensitive techniques such as MRI, joint damage can be detected as early as 3 months, it likely will not be clinically signficant. It is more important to establish a firm diagnosis before committing to long term therapy.