What are the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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In most patients with RA, onset is insidious, often beginning with fever, malaise, arthralgias, and weakness before progressing to joint inflammation and swelling.

Signs and symptoms of RA may include the following:

  • Persistent symmetric polyarthritis (synovitis) of hands and feet (hallmark feature)

  • Progressive articular deterioration

  • Extra-articular involvement

  • Difficulty performing activities of daily living (ADLs)

  • Constitutional symptoms

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