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Losing function in hands and have distorted fingers. Do I have rheumatoid arthritis?

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Practicing since : 1999
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I am losing functionality in my right hand. I had muscle spasms in the forearm and fingers for a couple of years that was not diagnosed. Then it became difficult to turn the key in the car ignition and it became difficult to grip things like eating utensils. I was referred to a neurologist who eliminated M.S., a tumor, stroke, or carpel tunnel as possibilities. He thinks it is a focal dystonia, writer's cramp, based on elimination. I recently noticed that I can not extend my fingers - if I try to hold my hand parallel to the floor, the fingers curve downwards, and they are separated and I cannot move them together or further apart. If I turn over my hand palm up, then I can see that the lower finger joint of all four fingers is at an angle. The little finger lower joint is at the most extreme angle in a radial direction. Additionally the upper joint is angled in an ulnar direction. The next three fingers are angled in an ulnar direction. The little finger is the most distorted, the middle fingers are less distorted, and the index finger is least distorted. I have no pain, swelling, inflammation, or modules. Is it possible that I have RA? Or just something caused by the spasming from writer's cramp?
Posted Wed, 20 Mar 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Divya Agarwal 52 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

It is highly unlikely that you have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

RA is not a focal disorder; it should not affect your right hand without affecting other joints.
And as you know it is a disorder which primarily encompasses synovitis; it cannot be present without pain and swelling in joints.

This more likely seems like a spasmodic disorder or something like a contracture. The other possibility is dupuytrens contracture which is a fibrosing disorder affecting the palmar fascia.

Hope I answered your query. Let me know if you have other concerns.

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