View Full Version : deformed joints?

06-16-2009, 11:55 AM
Hey, does anyone know if Lupus can make you actually have joint damage? I have arthritis off and on, but last night I noticed that all my finger joints stick up and are deformed looking. It wasnt like that feww months ago, and I always heard Lupus doesnt do permanent damage? Is that wrong? Oh yeah my toe joints also look like that! :unsure:HUgss KAthy

06-16-2009, 02:56 PM
Boy, I sure hate to have to share this....there are plenty of things that Lupus does, that I wish we didn't have to endure....and more than that, I wish I didn't have to share it with anyone because I hate to be the bearer of bad news and worry those who are new to Lupus.

But, I feel like I can't just ignore your question....

Yes, Lupus can cause joint damage. I am living it right now. After 27 years of living with arthritis and inflammation, my right wrist is collapsing. It's been doing it slowly, but has gotten much worse over the last 3 years. My orthopedist has been monitoring it with x-rays. The wrist is collapsing on my thumb side, which is slowly pushing my wrist bone upward and it's slowly deforming my hand and twisting my arm. It's now causing pretty severe pain in my elbow and shoulder, not to mention impinging on the main nerve to my hand.

I just saw my hand and wrist specialist a few weeks ago, and unfortunately, I have to have surgery to fuse my wrist, in order to stop the deformity. And then a second part to reshape the wrist bone, to release the nerve which runs directly under it. My left wrist has started the same thing, but it's slower going because I'm right handed and use that one much more.

This is the same thing that happened to both of my hips, which I had replaced 9 years ago. It happened more rapidly in my hips when I was on high doses of Prednisone following my diagnosis.

Sorry to have to share this news....but the reality is.....yes, the inflammation and arthritis caused by Lupus can and does cause damage to your joints. How much and how quickly it does this, is of course different in every person.

My best advice....find a doctor that will help determine the very best treatment that works for your body to protect your joints as much as possible. The less inflammation, the longer your joints are going to last. Also, be diligent about making sure your body has all the nutrients it needs. It's important to eat as healthy as possible, and avoid the fad diets or ones that well-meaning friends or family insist will "cure" your Lupus. Just do your best to eat healthy and well balanced every day. I also dose daily with a super-mega multivitamin, extra calcium, fish oil, extra Vitamin C and E, and supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin (for the joints). My Immunologist believes that, had I not supplemented with these, the damage would have occured many years sooner.

How long have you had arthritis and inflammation in your fingers and toes, Kathy? Is it recently that your symtpoms have started, or already years into it?

:cool2: Lori

06-16-2009, 03:47 PM
Exactly...it is not so much the Lupus as it is the arthritis that comes with Lupus. RA, in particular, is the biggest culprit for joint damage, bone destruction, and deformity.
Systemic lupus erythematosus patients can develop joint deformities due to arthritis which is similar to those in people with rheumatoid arthritis. The joint pain in lupus is likely to occur in the joints farthest from the trunk such as the fingers, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles. On an x-ray, the joints of SLE patients look normal and do not undergo erosion, unlike patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Approximately ten percent of patients with SLE develop deformities in their finger joints. One type of deformity, known as the swan neck deformity, is the bending of the top knuckle of the thumb or finger. In another type of deformity known as ulnar deviation, the fingers are shifted and point off to the outside.
As Lori mentioned, you should speak with your doctor about this issue to determine exactly what is causing the deformity.

I wish you the very best
Peace and Blessings

06-17-2009, 03:23 PM
Lori ive had arthritis on off couple years now, but my knuckles bulging and my pinkie sits further out now, thats new. Saysusie thank u and Lori for good advice support and info! Hugs having bad flare may be awol awhile! hugs Kath