Finger deformity and RA: Anyone who has RA and has any... - NRAS


31,817 members38,693 posts

Finger deformity and RA

Zeke-17 profile image

Anyone who has RA and has any hand or finger deformities could you tell me how your fingers started getting that way? My 4th finger on my right hand has been locking up on me and was wondering if anyone else had this problem?

10 Replies

Locking up doesn’t necessarily mean you will get finger deformity. Mine deformities and problems came on more quickly after being seven weeks waiting for new medication. My tendons were sore but not seized at first then the tendons flopped and let the bones drift out of alignment. I now have a swan neck middle finger deformity on my left hand and a Boutonnière deformity middle finger on the right. They restrict me picking things up and I can drop things easily but they don’t hurt. It was always my knuckles swelling and seizing which was the issue more than anything g else by nice ta was Uber control they stopped. The fingers could improve by operating on them and as I am artist I don’t want go risk me not being able to bend them and use a brush. Keep your fingers moving gently by means of exercise .. moving and making a a fist in a sink full of hot soapy water is something the physio told me to do many years ago, especially first thing on rising or let the shower water fall onto them and get them moving. You could see if Oval 8 finger splints can help of your fingers start to drift etc. Your physio/OT can advise and provide these or advise where to buy. They are plastic rings to go over the joints to bring the fingers more into alignment.

Zeke-17 profile image
Zeke-17 in reply to Neonkittie17

Ok thank you so much for the information.

Hi Have had problems with locking fingers for about two years. Diagnosed 4 1/2 years ago. On methotrexate and Humira and generally much improved but triggering fingers persist. Had steroid injections and they help and apparently sometimes sort it. However I have now had as many injections as I safely can in hands. Two years ago I had op on ring finger left hand which was very effective. Yesterday I had other 3 fingers on left hand operated on which seems to have worked. Then waiting on right hand to be done soon. I hope yours can be sorted with lower level treatments but also at least you know there are other options available to help. Apart from swelling don't have deformity as such. Suggest you speak to GP/rheumy team to see what treatment is best for you.

Your finger locking maybe Trigger finger which doesn’t usually cause deformities....if it locks permanently a painless steroid injection will usually fix it.

I do have a couple of wonky fingers.....they are 90% painfree, ...& my rheumy says they are OA not RA & they have taken years to become deformed. So don’t worry too much.

Both of my little fingers were bent/deformed when I was dx age 6 in 1971, I cannot remember them ever being straight. Doctors used to bandage a wooden stick to them, but it made no difference!

Hi my hands deviated badly when I was 18 I'm now 57 it happened very quickly within a year, in 1980 diagnosis and treatment was slower than it is now, I tried all sorts of splints but wearing then 24 hrs was impractical when working, and later when raising my son, but on a positive note, we are all different, my hands are a bit of a mess, dislocated joints and all sorts, but are not painful which is hard to believe when you look at them 😊 best wishes, don't forget we are all different.

Yes. My fingers began to drift (my pinkies don’t join my other fingers anymore!), over the space of two years. They do hurt and I drop stuff all the time but once the methotrexate started to work I think it slowed things down a bit! M x

Yes I have this locking , deformed is due to the inflammation attacking joints .

Yes I have deformed fingers too Started with my thumb when I was about 49 and gradually the other fingers got deformed, I still get pain in my knuckles and my hand seizes up a lot as well I’m now 68 I see the rheumatologist in August so will see what he thinks I also get a raised rash on my fore arms from time to time it’s not sore but It’s really hot goes away after a few days I wonder if anyone else had this.

Hi Zeke-17, both my hands and wrists are deformed, especially my fingers. I was without tocizumab for about a year and since then my fingers have become very deformed. Both my thumbs are very painful and badly deformed. My left left hand the fingers turn towards the e left with the little finger sticking out. My right fingers are now starting to twist. Both my hands look terrible, my doctor here in Canada has arranged for me to see OT next week for splints which I think had in the UK but no longer fit.

It is important to have control of your RA as the erosion of your joints is not repairable. I worry that I will lose the use of my hands. I am hoping that the OT will be able to help and find a way to stop further problems with my hands. I am on Rituxan infusions every 6 months. I just had the 2nd infusion of my 2nd set and I am starting to feel better especially in the morning. I also go to aqua motion and Tai Chi on a Monday to help with my strength and balance.

It can take some time for the meds to work and not every body responds the same. You need to see your Rheumatologist or GP to discuss if you feel your meds are not working for you.

Good luck I hope you feel better soon.

You may also like...