I have heard the hands are the hallmark of RA and so is symetrical joint pain. There is criteria for the diagnosis of RA. I'm bad with links but if you google "mercola rheumatoid arthrits" there is an interesting article and at the bottom of the article there is the criteria a rheumatologist has to use to diagnose RA. It is informative. I have never heard of lesions being used for RA diagnosis, but that's just me. My diagnosis was based on symestrical visible swelling in knees, and wrists and a couple fingers. Now it is just my right side only and my lower back feels like it has arthrtis and so does my sternum, so I feel like I am a mix of AS and RA. Also my diagnosis was based on my labs, ccp, raised crp and esr.
Hope that you get a proper diagnosis,take care.
NSD relieves a lot of my si joint pain.
"Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" A documentary about a man that overcame his autoimmune disease with juicing 100% fruits and veggies. You can watch it for free on www.hulu.comwww.gerson.org