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#135490 - 02/20/09 04:22 PM Sudden Swollen Finger Joint  
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Mark D Offline
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For the past few days I have been having unusual pain and swelling cropping up in some of my joints in the hands and feet. The top front part of my feet really hurts lately, but more disturbing is the sudden swelling of the knuckle joint of my pinky finger on one hand. It is not only obviously swollen and very sore, but distended and cannot be bunched together with my other fingers anymore. I have never had this happen before. Have any of you?

I should mention that I have been on Remicade for a year. The only weird symptom I have had while on it came after the second infusion when my legs and got really sore for 2-3 days. All of the joints in my body hurt to some extent, and my peripheral joints have been a lot of trouble for the past few years, but this seems to be an advance in my disease. I am not sure if it means that the Remicade is becoming less effective or if it could be a side effect.


DXed with AS almost 40 years ago
#135491 - 02/20/09 04:26 PM Re: Sudden Swollen Finger Joint [Re: Mark D]  
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Banana Offline
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When I got "the arthritis" in my fingers, it started in my pinkies. First the one and the other a couple weeks later. So my first thought is that the Remicade is no longer working as well. Is it almost time for Remicade? How are your knuckles and wrists? For me in went pinkies, knuckles, wrists and then the other fingers.

Its amazing how much we use our pinkies. We use them for support of objects like coffee cup, pots and pans.

Sorry, Anna




Actema IV once a month (with pre loading for allergic reaction), Cymbalta x1 daily, Arava 20mg daily. Diagnosed with AS in 2004, suffered undiagnosed since 1982.
#135493 - 02/20/09 04:32 PM Re: Sudden Swollen Finger Joint [Re: Banana]  
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I think you're my long lost twin mark...a couple days ago my pinky knuckle became swollen and have on going pain. I just started Humira a few weeks ago...did my second injection on wed. My wrists have been bothering me for sometime but this one is new to me also.

#135513 - 02/20/09 05:42 PM Re: Sudden Swollen Finger Joint [Re: HoldemHobbs]  
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Any chance it could be dactylitis or "sausage digit?" It's a common symptom of PsA so it wouldn't be surprising if it popped up sometimes with AS....

My dad has fingers go like this sometimes, and his mother also. It is good old osteoarthritis for them - the most common site for OA is the hands. I hope it's not the Remicade (assuming that is working for you!)


Jen, 42, happy partner of James and Moma to Evan, 14, & Lucy, 12.5 (Crohn's dx @ age 3; on Remicade since April 2010.) I take piroxicam, Flexeril, & Nucynta ER nightly. 3 anti-TNFs didn't pan out for me.

"Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance." -- Hippocrates
#135528 - 02/20/09 09:54 PM Re: Sudden Swollen Finger Joint [Re: JenInCincy]  
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Mark, I've had the same complaint with my feet for the last few months and am wondering the same as you--is remicade losing its effectiveness. The top of both of my feet gets extremely sore to the point where I have to take my sneakers off. Happens almost every evening. Hurts like the dickens. I've been on remicade for about 3 years now, and either the morphine dose needs to be increased, or remicade is losing its effectiveness.


Lisa K.
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#135533 - 02/21/09 12:22 AM Re: Sudden Swollen Finger Joint [Re: Merlin]  

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mark, i just the other day noticed the great distortion, swelling and redness and total disconnectedness on the first joint closest to my hand of my left thumb. it is so wierdly attached, i wonder how it functions at all. and i ascribe almost all my fumble fingers to myasthenia, perhaps i should just take a better look at the digits.

also, i have vasculitis (i think it is called) which presents as sausage toes in both feet. trouble is, the redness and swelling is now working its way to my whole foot. don't really know what this is due to. i have many positive blood readings for different autoimmune stuff. so maybe something else is going on with you? perhaps mention it at the next doc appt. i took photos of my feet to show my rheumy, and she was happy to have photo evidence before it changed. who knows, good luck, peace, sequoia

#135537 - 02/21/09 12:52 AM Re: Sudden Swollen Finger Joint [Re: ]  
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Mark,

I have AS involvement in my fingers. My pinky finger on right hand is bent at a 90 degree angle at the joint near the tip. Has been that way for years. I've also had the random, intense pain in other fingers.

I also have intense pain involved in my feet. For the last month, I've been having sharp, stabbing pain in the joint of my big toe on right foot. Who knew a toe could hurt so much?? OMG it will take my breath away.

I'm not on remicade, but I do take Enbrel, sulfasalazine, and celebrex. You would think something would work!!!

Good luck and hope you feel better.

Ann


Ann
HLAB27+
62 years old flexeril, tramadol, tramadol er, percocet, lidoderm patch, flector patch, voltaren gel + other meds for other conditions + lots of vitamins

#135548 - 02/21/09 02:25 AM Re: Sudden Swollen Finger Joint [Re: aslee9]  
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Mark D Offline
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Thanks. To answer Anna, I am a little bit over halfway through my 6 week Remicade cycle. My cycle was shortened from 8 weeks to 6 weeks 2 months ago, because I was getting sore during the last week. Since the change, I had been feeling better toward the end. But then again, the fact that I needed to make that change could be evidence that the drug is slowly doing less. You might recall that I take a low dose of MTX because I do not tolerate it well.

My joint problems are not sausage digits -- yet. To clarify, the swollen knuckle is the one on the back of my hand (metacarpal not phalanges, though those joints have been sore and stiff for years). Because of the enlarged joint (bursitis?) the little finger is being pushed away from the third finger. I have had this for 4 days and no apparent changes. I forgot to mention that I developed a trigger finger problem on the middle finger of the same hand when I was on Enbrel a few years ago, so it is clear my finger joints have been affected. I am wondering if exercise would help or make it worse -- because it hurts and is swollen I tend to just let it rest.

The foot issue is actually more scary because the joints that are affected may make it difficult to walk if it becomes worse. It is hard for me to tell if it is swollen, but I suspect so. In both cases these are places with major ligament attachments, so I think it is enthesitis, but about 20 years ago I had joints in both wrists swell up like large lumps and my rheumy thought they were fluid filled bursitis. I wonder if maybe these other problems may be like that and if an x-ray will show anything that we do not know already.

You know, I have mentioned this before, but it is because of these kinds of peripheral joint issues that I think ankylosing spondylitis is a misnomer. To be sure the SI involvement is ubiquitous, but there is a lot more to this disease than a backache. Don't get me started about my eyes.


DXed with AS almost 40 years ago
#135551 - 02/21/09 03:19 AM Re: Sudden Swollen Finger Joint [Re: Mark D]  
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aslee9 Offline
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You know, I have mentioned this before, but it is because of these kinds of peripheral joint issues that I think ankylosing spondylitis is a misnomer.

Mark, I couldn't agree more!

Ann


Ann
HLAB27+
62 years old flexeril, tramadol, tramadol er, percocet, lidoderm patch, flector patch, voltaren gel + other meds for other conditions + lots of vitamins

#135559 - 02/21/09 01:54 PM Re: Sudden Swollen Finger Joint [Re: aslee9]  
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Banana Offline
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Mark, it sounds like Remicade is failing, I then went to 4 weeks and it lasted for the full time but was less effective. After I was on the full dose at 4 weeks I started getting a nerve pain which stopped when I stopped Remicade.

Are you taking the super folic acid? Leavorcor? I take it three times after I take MTX and it helps with side effects ALOT. 12 hours after dose, and 12 hours after that again and again. Are you injecting it? Even a small dose is stronger via injection and its an easy one and again cuts the side effects.

What about adding Arava? or Plaquell? or Azulfadine? That has helped me too. I throwing all this out, because I fear you might be like me--failing all the TNFs. They are using triple DMARD combos now.

I agree with you about the other joints. I also think they should change the stats on how often fingers/hands/feet are effected. Rare? 5%? I don't think so.

Your right about feet (though hands too) can make you disabled fast. Can you see a foot doctor to get orthodics? Please don't over do, you can damage those tendons easy.

Anna


Actema IV once a month (with pre loading for allergic reaction), Cymbalta x1 daily, Arava 20mg daily. Diagnosed with AS in 2004, suffered undiagnosed since 1982.
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