Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Group

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory, multisystem, autoimmune disorder. It is a disabling and painful condition which can lead to substantial loss of mobility due to pain and joint destruction. The disease is also systemic in that it often also affects many extra-articular tissues throughout the body including the skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs, and muscles... The symptoms that distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from other forms of arthritis are inflammation and soft-tissue swelling of many joints at the same time (polyarthritis). The joints are usually affected initially asymmetrically and then in a symmetrical fashion as the disease progresses. The pain generally improves with use of the affected joints, and there is...

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fingers getting disfigured

Over the past few weeks I have noticed a change in the shape of my findgers - now I am seeing the disfiguration getting worse practically daily - I amgetting very upset- does this stop???? I am awaiting actemra and am now doing 25mg injectable meth. I was on enbrel for a month andthen hummira for a month and keep on getting worse. Help thanks

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

This is a tough one. I'm able to ignore how I feel sometimes but the hardest reminder that I have RA is looking at the physical changes, and my hands / wrists / arms are the most noticeable. My .says that if we find a biologic that works that some of the disfiguration might decrease (swelling and nodules). I'm pretty sure that I am seeing joint changes, too, though, and its very distressing. I cry sometimes. I was looking at pictures the other day, and one of them looked exactly like my hands. Maybe sometimes there's too much information on the internet.

Keep on top of your rheumy -- you have to get on something that will work.

Best wishes,
deleted_user
deleted_user

Mine are starting to get twisted. My pointer finger on my right hand turns in towards my pinky finger and the tips of my middle fingers on both hands are crooked. My fingers were so swollen a few days ago, I didn't think I would get my rings off. I just had my nails done too and now I can really tell how crooked my fingers are. It's sad. I hope these medications stop this. I just started on Orencia myself. Good luck with your medication!
deleted_user
deleted_user

The pain I can deal with better than the physical changes as I know that comes and goes - but even during minimal pain times my hands still look disfigured.....I am starting my 3rd biologic and my RA has actuall gottenmuch more active since I started on them -..... good luck
mmztcass
mmztcass

When I was on the MTX and the Enbrel shots, my fingers got worst as well. When I had to go off of it, the erosion slowed down. The Rheumy said I had to take more of the MTX to slow down the disfigurement. But if I wasn't as disfigured prior to the drugs, how would taking more have helped me?

I was very upset at the time.

{{{hugs}}} :-(
aggie83
aggie83

Funny. My pointer finger has always leaned towards the others about 45 degrees. Always assumed it was from playing the violin at a young age. (??). I do have a great deal of 'backwards' hyperextension in the fingers.

My pinkies are getting harder and harder to straighten out. (much less hyperextend) Doc recommended splinting at night and the splint I found is foam covered metal. Not bad, but clunky. Has anyone used the Oval-8 Finger Splints? I just ordered
deleted_user
deleted_user

@aggie- Let me know how the splint works. I've been thinking about getting one for the fingers on my my right hand. I'm thinking that if I can keep them straight at night, they may not be so swollen and painful when I wake up. Where did you get it?
aggie83
aggie83

I got the metal/foam splint at CVS pharmacy-- in the first aid section. I ordered the Oval-8 from Amazon.com and should get it in a few days. It actually looks like you can wear it during the daytime and still be able to bend the finger. I'll let you know!
Lifeis2short
Lifeis2short

nancy,
I'm so sorry! Frightening I know! I don't have a clear answer for you on the disfiguration. I notice that when I'm having a flare they really look bad! Right now, as of yesterday, my swelling and pain has gone way down so they do look better. I started Humira too last month and it seems like it stirred everything up rather than calmed it down but I'm going to continue for a least 2 more months to see if it gets under control. When were you diagnosed? Hang in there. I hope you feel better soon!
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi Nancy,
I am sorry to hear about your physical changes in your fingers. I was off of MTX and Enbrel for 2 mos and am starting to get some of the changes. It is scary! You have a visible sign day by day of what is going on inside your body. May I ask why you were only on the Enbrel or Humira for a month? Did you have problems or side effects?
deleted_user
deleted_user

I am 45, just got back from the RA visit with the doc. I asked him about my fingers as well and they are in pain and curving/nodules/swelling. I asked if the MTX that he has prescribed me today along with Medrol injection, folic acid will stop the curving in my fingers and he told me it will only slow the process down. He also stated that as long as there is no inflammation going on in the joints it will not deteriorate the bone, hope this helps and I hope you feel better soon!!
deleted_user
deleted_user

Enbrel did not seem to have any effect so he switched me to Humira - thought it might work quicker - I was falring for 8-10 days after and then feeling good for 4-5 days until the second injection then the same thing happened - not sure if it was from the humira but 2 rheumies that I saw decided I should stop taking it. Since I stopped I am so much worse - I am in more pain then since I had the first signs of this disease ago - I am in so much pain that I actually took a pain killer ( beyond motrin) for only the second time
deleted_user
deleted_user

I just want you to know that last year my fingers were starting to sway left on the right hand and right on the left. I got very concerned so I started sleeping with wrist spints and finger splints and they look better than they did a year ago.
Sue
deleted_user
deleted_user

what kind of finger splints? on every finger???
aggie83
aggie83

Just got my Oval-8 finger splint and it is so much better than the metal/faom ones! I only have one finger that is curling up right now. Was advised to splint at night and do finger stretching every day (when not inflamed).

The Oval-8 slips over the finger and depending on how you orient it, it helps with various problems. (trigger finger, swan neck, etc) I could hardly tell it was there.and when I woke up it was still on. I could actually type with it on as I was restricting onlly the proximal IP on the pinkie.
They have other nifty looking products. Shop around for oval-8 because I saw prices ranging from $11 to $30. Went with Amazon.

http://www.3pointproducts.com/arthritis/
deleted_user
deleted_user

My fingers starting to curve has been the most frightening part for me of this disease. I did transcription for a living until I couldn't do it any longer, but I still type a lot for my job. I'm not under a rheumy right now so I'm unmedicated, so I can't help with that part but I completely empathize!