Hi fello sufferers!
I'm 41 years old and have had PA for 7 years undiagnosed until 6 months ago and have since started MTX and Enbrel and its working. However, I have noticed over the last year, including the 6 months on medication, that one finger in particular is BENDING. Its bending inward towards my thumb-it feels uncomfortable, is fdefintely noticable to me and when I show it to others, they agree.
Is there anything that can be done about that besides the medication I'm on? Does physical therapy work to straighten again? I'm constantly bending it back trying to get it to stop. Funny the same toe on the same side foot is also doing it.
Please proide any thoughts or experience.
Hi and sorry about the finger movement. I have 2 on each hand bending towards my little finger, the pointers and middle. They don't look pretty and is soooo painful when they are bending. Do you have knots on the joint that is bending? My left big toe is also trying to do it as well.
Maybe finger splints would help. My Dr has never told me about anything that might stop it except getting the disease under control. My Enbrel will be here tomorrow and I am hoping it helps.
Take care, hope you find answers and if you do let me know.
Sorry to hear about your problem. You are not alone in this. I started experiencing RA symptoms (8) months ago and was diagnosed with RA about a month and a half ago. In the past month my pointer finger on each hand has started bending at the knuckle towards my little fingers. My right hand pointer finger is bent much worse than my left. These bends are apparant because my family has made comments about noticing that my fingers are curved awfully badly. I agree it can be painful to use your fingers with these bends as it stresses the joints more to use them. I called my Rheumy about this and was told that getting your disease under control is the key to stopping these existing deformaties and preventing new ones. I asked about splinting and he said that it does little to help and in many cases it can be counter productive as it caused the splinted body parts to lose more strength. The only "real" correction that I've found out about is surgery which both helps joint function and appearance. I've been told though that surgery for this is usually not warranted until the disease is fully under control. Keep me posted as to whether you find a remedy. Good luck.
[QUOTE=Bonny] Ta3d, it is also my right pointer finger that is the worse and man does that joint get red and painful. Does yours turn red? Maybe the right one is worse since we use our right hands more. I am left handed but live in a right handed world so do use the right more.[/QUOTE]
Yes, my finger joints turn red on both pointer fingers, mainly on the side towards my pinky in the same direction they are bending towards. I also have a knot on my right hand pointer finger on the side towards my pinky, which is tender and hurts when it has any pressure on it such as wearing gloves outside in the cold. I can tell you that typing is sometimes very painful because my pointer fingers are already bending to the sides and any pressure puts further stress on the joint in that direction. What is funny is, when this all started, my left pointer finger was experiencing the most pain, stiffness and swelling. Now it's my right pointer finger that is worse and my right is also bending way worse that my left. You'd think that since it started worse in my left hand that this is the hand that would be showing the most signs of any deformity. Not the case though.
This has got to be scarey stuff and Im sorry to hear it. I have found my toe on right foot feels funny and is sort of curving and now I can feel it on my left foot. I know something is going on but its not painful, just a bit scarey. I have been on MTX now for 6 months and feel really good. I know the RA is there, I can feel it in my hands and wrists but there isnt much pain. The fatigue is improving and all in all I feel like I am in remission (touch wood). I am now walking and exercising again and life is getting back to normal. Its scarey to think that silently the RA is maybe still be doing damage???
Bonny, how long have you been on treatment? I agree with what you say about getting the disease under control, Ta2d, do you feel like it is under control or you and your rheumy are still working on it?[QUOTE=wendyc]
Bonny, how long have you been on treatment? I agree with what you say about getting the disease under control, Ta2d, do you feel like it is under control or you and your rheumy are still working on it?
I don't believe my RA is under control as of yet, but yes my Rheumy and I are still working on it. We're still waiting to see if the Plaquenil will do the trick or if I'm going to need something stronger. When I saw my Rheumy last back in December, my fingers hadn't even begun to bend this badly. Actually, my pointer fingers had pretty much no deformity at all at that point, they just hurt and were stiff. This has all happened pretty drastically and in a short time frame of about 7 weeks. I haven't been able to get back into him yet and I go back to see him on Feb. 27th. I'm going to try to get him to order some hand x-rays to better see what is going on. It should be obvious to him even without the x-rays as other people have noticed it without me pointing it out first. If I hold my hand in a relaxed position my pointer finger from the middle joint up is curving and partially overlapping my middle finger on my right hand. Also, on my right hand my middle finger is starting to lean towards my thumb from the bass knuckle on my hand up (the opposite direction from my pointer finger).
I have been on 20mg MTX for over 4 months with no results which is why she added Enbrel.
Thanks Wendy for the nice thoughts.
Ta2d-My fingers turn very quickly while they are flaring.Ive been MTX for about 6 weeks and started Enbrel 3 weeks ago. Its helping with the pain but it doesnt seem to help (yet) with the bending finger. The bending fingers I guess me in a different way because it is visible-it tells the rest of the world that I have something wrong with me-that Im getting old and have arthritis. Its not the biggest deal -the pain is really what I am most concerned with but now in addition...
[QUOTE=fishstock]Ive been MTX for about 6 weeks and started Enbrel 3 weeks ago. Its helping with the pain but it doesnt seem to help (yet) with the bending finger. The bending fingers I guess me in a different way because it is visible-it tells the rest of the world that I have something wrong with me-that Im getting old and have arthritis. Its not the biggest deal -the pain is really what I am most concerned with but now in addition...[/QUOTE]
Once the damage begins you can't reverse it. You can however slow it down if you are lucky. I was started on DMARDS early on and have been on various ones for the last 13 years. If you start early enough and continue treatment it can slow down the progression. I have damage visable on X-Rays and MRI's but they are very minumal considering how long I've lived with this. I can see a difference in my hands; but it's not apparent to regular people.
My point is; early and continuous treatment is key in avoiding damage such as you guys are describing. I say this to stress to those toying with alternative treatments that once you realize you've got some damage.....it's too late. You can not reverse it.