Greetings, Ruby Red! I'm not even sure I have RA yet, but both of my index fingers are turning toward the outside of my elbows. Ulna Shift, I believe they call it. Now my middle finger on my right hand is starting to do the same, and it has sharp pains shooting around from time to time.
Inevitably it is dependent on how severe your disease whether you have changes of the hand, but there is a distinct look of the hands that Doctors would look for and believe it is still listed as a sign although not widely discussed, that is the fingers start to point or lean toward the Ulna side (outward) of the hand. Also, joints could be red or swollen. I would caution anyone looking for just outward signs, though, often times when you see the bony changes it is too late to correct. So, if there is pain, stiffness, or cramping on an ogoing basis, go see your doctor and discuss it. Don't live my mistake, "If only I'd gotten help sooner." With RA, the sooner the better!
it depends on the stage of your disease and what kind of damage your experience in your joints. Usually, an RA flare means swelling of the joints, so that would mean you would have trouble seeing the joints, particularly the knuckles that may look as if they have become little pillows instead of you being able to see the bone. If you have had an unmanaged flare for some time, your joints may become damaged and that's when deformity can happen.
Could you tell us a bit more about what your hands look like and whether you have a diagnosis of RA?
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