Some research indicates that patients presenting with rheumatic symptoms should be routinely tested for HCV. Joint problems resulting from HCV infection should not be confused with joint problems suffered by people with severe bleeing disorders who might have problems caused by bleeding into the joints. For HCV sufferers with a milder bleeding disorder (the majority) it seems that rheumatic symptoms are likely to be caused purely by HCV, either by the virus itself, or by its effect on the autoimmune system. More information can be found in this Canadian Journal of Rheumatology report of 1996.
The extract below was taken from Rheumatology.org:
"The hepatitis C virus (HCV) can cause arthritis, muscle pain and weakness, and vascular problems in addition to liver disorders. These associated inflammatory musculoskeletal disorders are very common in individuals infected with the virus and the resulting chronic hepatitis. In fact, these disorders can appear before the patient is even diagnosed with HCV."