What are the musculoskeletal manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) other than joint involvement?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Other commonly observed musculoskeletal manifestations include the following:

  • Tenosynovitis (defined as inflammation of the tendon and its enveloping tendon sheath) and associated tendon rupture due to tendon and ligament involvement, most commonly involving the fourth and fifth digital extensor tendons at the wrist

  • Periarticular osteoporosis due to localized inflammation

  • Generalized osteoporosis due to systemic chronic inflammation, immobilization-related changes, or corticosteroid therapy

Most patients with RA have muscle atrophy from disuse, which is often secondary to joint inflammation.

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