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Calcinosis?


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#1 red

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 01:39 AM

2 weeks ago, seemingly overnight, I developed a hard lump, about 1/4 inch, near the end joint of my pinky finger on the palm side. Since it was bruised-like in appearance, and mildly tender, I assumed I must have hit it or pinched it, although I don't remember doing so; it hasn't changed or gone away yet. Last week, while my daughter was helping me dress (my hands don't cooperate with bra fastening anymore), she told me I had two bruised areas about 2 inches up from each elbow - they both have quite large and firm lumps under the skin, more than an inch across, again, just a little sore when I press them. I showed them to my primary last week when I went for a blood pressure check, and he said that the elbow lumps were "rheumatoid nodules" but he thought the finger lump was just bruised from a pinch. Today I've found another pebble sized lump near my R elbow. Curiously, my elbows, along with my knees, are the only joints that don't hurt me.

Before this, I've only had one quite painful lump on my thumb knuckle, it opens occasionally and leaks a whitish fluid, but always heals up quickly afterward. I've always figured it was calcinosis, but the rheumatologist says it is a synovial cyst. I do have a few painful "bone spurs" in my feet per xray. Does anybody know if bone spurs and calcinosis look similar on an xray?

Am wondering if this is just another common part of the sclero package? My next rheumatologist appointment isn't until February, but am starting to worry about this rather sudden development. Would there be any treatment other than surgically removing them anyway?

Thanks for listening,

red

#2 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 03:03 AM

Hi Red,

I really can't help you out much on this since, so far as I know, I've never had calcinosis. I do get the reddened, tender spots at the tips of my fingers, but haven't a lump form. I think if it were me, I'd call my rheumatologist's office and tell them what is going on and see if he'd like to see you sooner. My thinking on this is that if it is calcinosis and it interferes with the movement of your elbows, waiting until February might cause some problems with the underlying architecture of the joint; if it isn't calcinosis, it could be some sort of inflammation that could be eased with medication.

Warm wishes,
Jeannie McClelland
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#3 Joelf

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 03:10 AM

Hi Red

Sorry to hear that you've had some worrying lumps come up on your finger and elbows.

It could be Calcinosis but as I have never (thankfully!) suffered with that particular problem I can't advise you from my own experience. Much as I enjoy telling my doctor how to do her job, I don't actually have any medical training so would suggest that you go back to see your doctor/rheumatologist again to find out if he can be a little more specific about the causes of the lumps and as Jeannie says perhaps he could prescribe some medication to alleviate the inflammation.

That's the joy of Scleroderma.....you never know what might crop up next!! :rolleyes: :lol:

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#4 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 06:43 AM

Hi Red,

I'm sorry you have a new collection of lumps and bumps and I will do my best to try to shed some light on thm.

There's no real harm (that I know of) to come from either calcinosis, rheumatoid nodules or synovial cysts, and not much treatment or prevention available for any of them, either. So you can ask your doctor (which it sounds like you already have) but there is likely no harm at all in waiting until February to see your rheumatologist about it/them, regardless of which of these things they are. The are all common in arthritis (and scleroderma is a form of arthritis; so is rheumatoid arthritis, for that matter.)

I've had calcinosis on my fingers; they just managed to pop and drain by themselves in time. I have a few rheumatoid nodules on my fingers, and the doctors basically react to it like, so what? It gains no interest or respect because they figure you will probably get these sorts of things when you have arthritis, and there's really nothing (that I know of) that is effective for them.

I don't know about synovial cysts, but again, they follow in the path of injury or arthritis, and I think either they will drain by themselves or with medical assistance, should they become very bothersome.

My guess is that you probably have a combination of things, rather than all of them being the same thing, because your doctor seemed to think they were different sorts of things. Your rheumatologist should be able to more accurately pinpoint -- or verify -- things for you.

As for the bone spurs, I think they are also very common in the general healthy population. I have a pleasant collection of them, myself. Bone spurs are made out of bone; bones are made out of calcium, so they are sort of like calcinosis in that way, and they are more common in arthritis (especially osteoarthritis, I think.) But unless they are causing severe issues, they are usually left alone because if they are removed, there can be a lot of adhesions (fibrosis) which form (even in healthy people) when joint tissues are injured or disturbed in any way.

All that said, we get back to the basics: I'm only a patient, not a doctor, I have no medical training at all. I do not even have a current first aid certificate. And I may be wrong -- I often am and there's plenty of folks around here who can attest to that!
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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#5 enjoytheride

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 01:39 PM

When a new spot of calcinosis starts (only on my fingers,) it starts by getting a sore, slightly swollen area than then forms gets less painful and more formed. It doesn't hurt again until it starts to break through the skin. Sometimes it never does break through and gets stays a condensed lump under the skin.
Of course this is only me.............

#6 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 02:05 PM

That was a good idea to explain how your calcinosis is when it's forming, Enjoy.

So I will follow suit. My calcinosis (how do you plural that?) start forming rather like a pimple, with a red ring around but a larger and more hardened lump in the center. Mine continued to feel irritable though, perhaps because I'd keep bumping them or maybe because they just bugged me.

Also, I didn't know what they were way back then, and I actually expected them to be a pimple that I could pop, albeit a really large pimples. And I dearly love popping pimples. And peeling sunburnt skin, what a blast!

Now, if we want to change topics and get into odd things we mysteriously love, I also love the smell of gasoline (even truck fumes) and I could happily inhale paint fumes all day long. :o

But not to worry folks, I've already checked and these idiosyncrasies do not require psychotherapy. Or at least, not for too many years. :blink:
Warm Hugs,

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#7 miocean

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 04:40 PM

Shelley,
That is too funny. :VeryHappy: I am a picker and peeler as well. And I love gas fumes, when I was little I would take the cap off and stick my nose up to the car. I also like the smell of a freshly paved street...

But this is about calcinosis. The ones on my fingers look like red bumps with dark centers. Two I've had for years and I have two relatively new ones on my little fingers. They hurt sometimes if I bump them hard, but have never leaked fluid. One comes and goes, right now it's back. The Calcinosis on my buttocks is another story. (Reading that post brought back memories) Since the transplant, surgery became out of the question and fortunately, the most painful area, which felt like a round ball and rough on the surface, has lessened. Now it just feels like I am sitting on rocks. I had purchased a folding gel cushion (stadium cushion) and carried in my large pocketbook but lost it. Now, how you lose an 8 1/2 by 11" thing is beyond me, but it disappeared. Since I'm better, I am not getting another one. :)

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#8 Sandy B

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 08:14 PM

Shelley and Miocean,

I have to say you are both nuts girls (in the nicest possible way) No wonder you lost your cushion, loving sniffing all those fumes, hehe!!! Haven't had such a good chuckle in ages. Me personally, petrol fumes make me barf, yuk just thinking about it makes me want to barf, barf, barf!!!

With regards to the calcinosis, I'm not sure how they start, I may have a cluster under the skin on my right knee, which started off as hard grainy lumps, which have increased in size and appear a creamy colour when the skin is taut. I have never had them diagnosed as calcinosis or anything else for that matter. Not sure if this helps?

Take care all and Happy Holidays

Sandy B

#9 Robyn Sims

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 11:18 PM

Hello Red,

Seems there is plenty of advice from those who are very familiar with calcinosis.

My thought is that if you are worrying about these lumps it may ease your stress levels to get to your specialist earlier than February if that is possible.

Warm regards,
Robyn

#10 Joelf

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:08 AM

Ooh, Shelley and Miocean, although I'd definately pass on the petrol and paint fumes, I also love squeezing and picking pimples, spots and dead skin!! ;)

The indescribable joy of gauging out ingrowing hairs on my bikini line is another of life's little pleasures; methinks perhaps too much information!! ;) :lol: :lol:

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#11 red

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:27 AM

Thanks all, for your replies - and Shelley - thanks for the laughs, you are too funny! You and miocean remind me of my oldest daughter, who as a child was always trying to sneak a good whiff of gasoline when I filled up my tank, and yes she was a champion pimple popper and sunburn peeler too! I myself prefer the smell of freshly cut wood. Back when I was able, I helped my family with cutting down trees and splitting for firewood. I am pretty good at identifying the type of wood just by the smell! My family calls me "wood-crazy" as I still love to sniff the woodpile.

Since my primary didn't seem too excited about the lumps, I've decided to ignore them until after the holidays. If they've gotten worse or more widespread by then, I'll call the rheumatologist and see if he wants to move up the February appointment. It makes sense that these bumps are related to arthritis as I've had quite a flare up of joint pain over the past few months. I am already on an anti-inflammatory med which helps a bit but I think I'm ready to try something different or stronger.

Stay warm everybody! This morning we have wind chill factors below zero and a fresh few inches of snow blanketing upstate New York. Pretty but no way I'm going out today!

Red

#12 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 02:20 AM

And now I'm laughing over other people laughing. How lame is that?

Miocean, we must have a common ancestor; probably an artist who worked in a gas station and had a lot of pimples?

Red, that's interesting, I've never given any thought over the smell of wood. I did have a co-worker once though who couldn't stand the smell of paper; some types she would ban from her office and refuse to handle. Meanwhile, I wasn't aware that regular paper even had a smell. Sniffing more intently, I could detect a little tiny whiff of something on some papers, if I tried. But it sure goes to show there is a wide range of what we detect...and what we love...for smells.

Which of course has absolutely nothing in the whole world to do with anything. :emoticons-yes:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#13 miocean

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:54 PM

Which of course has absolutely nothing in the whole world to do with anything.


Anybody remember mimeograph machines (blue ink)? The teacher would pass out the papers printed on them and we would all hold them up to our noses and inhale! No wonder there are so many diseases today!

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#14 judyt

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 10:37 PM

I would like to add my sixpence-worth to this thread. Our daughter is a voracious reader, and when she was a child, and we were shopping in the mall she would suddenly stop, put her nose in the air and take a deep sniff!!

Then she would announce "I smell a bookshop" at which point we would have to go looking for it and spend what seemed like hours while she browsed.

That is about the wierdest one I know of.

Warm rain sodden hugs from Auckland. I mention the rain because we have had none for about 3 months until this week.

Judyt

PS I wrote this story once then seemed to lose it so if it appears twice, PLEASE delete one!!!