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Damage to tendons
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3collies posted:
Dr. Zashin please explain if you can how the tendons and ligaments are affected by RA. I have 4 nodules on the outside of my right wrist and the hand sugeon said that the tendons could rupture and cause dropped fingers. I don't understand.
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Scott Zashin, MD responded:
The same type of tissue that lines the joint called synovium also lines the tendons. The tendon is a type of tissue that connects muscles. When RA affects the tendons as it often does on th back of the hand, over time, the tendon can become damaged and (breaks) ruptures. The patient finds that they are unable to normally extend the finger. When this happens, I refer my patients to a hand surgeon for evaluation. Ideally, if the inflammation in the tendon which often precedes a rupture does not subside with treatment for RA I will refer patients to a hand specialist for evaluation so as to try to prevent tendon damage. Another area that when involved in RA can predispose to tendon damage is the ulnar styloid. This is a sharp bone found on the pinky side of the hand at the wrist. In patients with involvement in this area, perisistent inflammation can also damage the underlying tendons and cause the same problems.
 
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Scott Zashin, MD responded:
Correction
Tendons connect muscle to bone. Ligaments connect bone to bone.
 
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3collies replied to Scott Zashin, MD's response:
Thank you so much for the detailed explanation. I think that I hhave a better understanding now and will consider the surgeons suggestion more seriously. I certianly don't want the damage to go any further.