We report the case of a 34-year-old man with a rheumatoid pulmonary nodule preceding the development of articular symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Pulmonary nodules are a well known feature of rheumatoid arthritis and are mostly seen in severe established rheumatoid factor-positive cases. To differentiate between benign and malign pulmonary nodules we discuss the use of positron emission tomography (PET). Despite intensive therapy with steroids and methotrexate in our patient, within months he developed a severe tibialis posterior tendinitis, with partial rupture and evolution to a planovalgus deformity requiring surgery. Both these symptoms are rare but demonstrate the need for close follow-up in early rheumatoid arthritis.