Fingers Turning Inward

Can someone explain what causes the figures to turn inward towards the palm with Scleroderma? I know about the Raynauds and vascular spasms and leakage, but nothing about the inward curling of the hands.

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This is the stage of scleroderma that causes the skin to tighten and harden.
The more the skin tightens, the less mobility you will have in your hands.
Same thing is happening to me.

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www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCPhfUiSSv8

watch this video on sclerodactyl...it may help you understand a little better.

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Keep stretching as much as possible and often. Get your hands very warm and then stretch stretch stretch. It probably will help with flexibility and strength.

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Thanks Michael and MaggiMay - Is there a device you are aware of to wear during sleep to keep your fingers straight? Don't know if there is one if it would work. Just curious what you may know has been tried. I will stretch.

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A device? Not that i know of but most people say using a brace or finger splints will help with the stiffness in the morning. Unfortunately, there really isn't anything you can do to STOP the tightening..Aspirin may help for a little while but the tightness will slowly progress. Try to keep the skin warm and moisturized as much as possible and keep your hands warm AT ALL TIMES!!! Being cold will result in a Raynaud's episode which can cause a blood shortage to the fingers and if the blood is cut off for too long, you will develop ulcers. I have had ulcers that have come and gone but now my fingers look as if someone took a pocket knife and cut a small wedge out of them..my hands are tight to the point that if i was too fall forward, there would be no way to stop myself from hitting the ground face first without breaking my fingers because i cannot extend them. I am not trying to scare you but these are the realities of having scleroderma,,I don't know how far along you are but i hope things get better for you...for all of us.

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Hi Michael,

I've had swollen fingers for a long time. The skin on outside of my right index finger going down the inside slope to the thumb is thick and splits. I have hardening in the web area (i call it that) between the index and the thumb. This is new and don't know how longs it's been that way. I do try to keep warm but sometimes I get chilled for no apparent reason even with clothing layers and the thermostat on 70 degrees. I'll be glad when winter is over. I need to read the "scleroderma book" I have again. It's easy for me to forget things about the disease process. Thanks for your kind words.

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Hi prog3, I know that stress with trigger an episode of Raynaud's. My skin tightening in my hands isn't very bad. But my "pinkie "finger on both hands is curling inwards. I had sympathectomies on both hands back in 2003. The surgeon went from my wrists tone to all 4 fingers in both hands. After the surgery I was sent to a PT that specialized in Hand therapy and that really helped. Also used to belong to a support group that had a member that had custom splints made for her hands. Been quite a while since I went to the support group though. It is a 3 hour round trip and I can't drive anymore so I had to give it up. Glad I have the internet.

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Hi thefloyds - Did the sympathectomies work as you expected?

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Hi prog3!

Yes my hands curling was one of the first signs. In the beginning they were hot, felt strange I couldn't peel a veg or anything
and couldn't hold a knife and fork. That eventually settled but I had treatment at a hospital for arthritis type ailments. I had day braces and night ones but they drove me crazy. One of the nicest things was hot wax treatments and exercises.
Now my fingers are still curled in but the skin is fairly soft. I have Raynards but have been very lucky not to have the ulcers.
My hand problems started in 1993 and though I am a bit clumsy things can improve.
Take care, Liz

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Hi prog3. I'm always interested to find someone else who has curved fingers/contractures. It's no fun! How quickly did you notice your hands tightening? Mine happened over a 1 to 2 week period l2 years ago this month. NowI have regular OT, use paraffin hand baths, and try to live as normally as possible. The skin itself is beginning to wrinkle. Some of the swelling is down. However, the stiffness itself never changes. Having OT is uncomfortable, at best. I wish I'd known what was going on at the beginning. I was awaiting a second opinion when all of this kicked in. Let's hope someone finds a miracle cure for our hands.

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Hi Scleroteacher - My hands haven't progressed that far yet. My skin is hardening on my right hand which is something new. I've had swollen fingers and raynauds for along time but finger splits began last year. I was hoping to find out if there is something I can use at night to keep my fingers straight when they automatically rest in a curled position. Parts of my hand feel like a handbag I used to have so I figured the inward curl wasn't far behind. Will keep you posted. There has to be an answer somewhere for all this stuff.

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Hi prog3, yes the sympathectomies did wonders for me I have not had an ulceration in 10 years. My raynauds has started to get bad again but that has only been in the last 6 months. I knew when I had the surgeries that this wasn't a permanent fix. But I was extremely happy with the results. Before the surgeries if I bumped my fingers on something I would cry because I knew it would trigger another ulcer. Back in 2003 there weren't many options available. Either surgery or amputation if Vaso-dilation medication did not help. I am still on baby aspirin and Norvasc 2.5mg daily. So much has changed over the last 10 years and I would save the surgery as a last resort. I am having trouble with my left thumb. It started back in July and it just went numb from the base of my thumb to the tip. It is driving me crazy and I need to have someone look at it. Going to the Rheumy in 3 weeks so I hope she will have an answer.

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Yes, they do make a brace that will hold you fingers in an amost straight position, but I hated to wear it. I never could sleep in it. A physical therapist can help you locate a source and write a prescription. My insurance paid for it.

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Hi everyone. I was reading about the problems with the fingers curling inwards. I have a few suggestions. First which may not me helpful is to try to sleep with a rolled up wash cloth in your hands and you may have to lightly wrap them to hold that in place. Second after my sympathectomies my hand therapiest made me these fantastic custom splints to wear as much as possible to help reduce the contractures. 3. There is/was a surgical procedure that they would go in and sever the tendon that caused the fingers curl (some of my friends didn't have good luck. Also I have an acquantence for my old support group whose husband talked a jeweler into making gold and leather finger splints. They were very beautiful and I can put you in contact with her is you PM me and I will pass on the info. I do hope and pray that each of us in our own little way can help each other find a better and more fulfilling life. Good luck and god bless.

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as far as sympathectomy for raynaunds... meds have helped me. The SSc center put me on Procardia xl 30 mg 3/day along with trental 3/day and aspirin. You have to be sure your BP does not drop with all these circulation meds, but it is working for me. I still get raynaunds, but have not as severe.

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Hi Joyu - My blood pressure is low already. I know I would have to be closely monitored. I heard somewhere that a sharp extreme drop in blood pressure can impact the kidney I guess sort of like extreme blood pressure can. Don't know if true or not.

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