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Calcium Deposit Infections


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#1 omaeva

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 08:12 PM

So I'm starting a 3rd infection my elbow from a calcium deposit, in the past 4 months. I'm getting super annoyed, since it follows a cycle and my doctor doesn't seem to be worried when I tell him it's 'stiff' since that's how they start. And once it all sets in, it's pain, and swelling, can't move my arm in any direction etc. He's also not planning on having the deposit removed since it's location is weird and he feels it's kind of dangerous. Anyone have any ideas on how to stop the infection from happening early on? Or how to manage it a bit better so that it doesn't get all full blown?

#2 jefa

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 08:25 PM

Hi, omaeva. Sorry to hear you are having problems with calcinosis. I do not personally have any problems with calcinosis, though I am sure others who have dealt with it will jump in with discussions of their own experience. Our medical page on Skin Involvement: Calcinosis has a number of articles and patient stories which may be of some help to you.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#3 omaeva

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 08:31 PM

Thanks Jefa, I've already read ALL of that, it kind of seems that there really nothing to get rid of the deposits, but I'm hoping for answers to managing the infection, or stopping them before they start, without antibiotics.

#4 truman

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 01:28 AM

omaeva:

Actually there is a drug to control the calcium deposits, Colchicine; it's a medicine routinely used for gout. Ask your doctor about it.

I'm constantly dealing with the calcium deposits on my forearms which are easier to control for infection. The ones on the elbows are real problems though. I had one on my left elbow before I was diagnosed with CREST. Drove the doctors nuts because they couldn't get rid of it. Finally after three infections, the bursa sack was destroyed and started leaking through the calcium deposit opening. They had to operate and removed the bursa sack from the elbow (a new one eventually grows back). Because of Raynauds, they had to keep the operating room a comfortable 70+ degrees (surgeon had Raynauds as well). I developed a terrible infection from the operation and nearly lost my arm. After three months with an Infectious Disease doctor, I was finally healed. This is probably why you doctor does not want to mess with the deposit in that area.

I have since developed another on my right elbow, which is what led to the CREST diagnosis. The orthopedic doctor/surgeon refused to operate because xrays showed the calcium seeping from the inner part of the elbow and developing down to the outside of the elbow. He said with CREST, I would never heal right and be in and out of wound care centers. I now understand because of the previous incident and the slow healing of my foot after my toe amputation.

Presently, I keep a careful eye on it. Generally they do come to the surface and pop, but it could take months.

May sound silly, but I take bunion pads and use that over the calcium deposit so that the deposit isn't bumped or abraded. You may even find it getting a little smaller if you try that, since it will lessen any chance of aggravating the area more.

Hope that helps and keep me posted.......
Tru

It is what it is...........

#5 Alice02

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 06:51 AM

Hi, omaeva. I have suffered from Calcium Deposit for more than thirty years now. I have them on my knees, hips and fingers. I’m sorry to say that unfortunately there is no cure for them. I agreed with Truman that Colchicine can help little, but it take years. However, I have had many surgeries and that is the only way for me to get rid of calcium deposit and painful infections. Even though they do grow right back, sometimes miracles does happened, I use to have a big one on my elbow and after surgery it never grow back, I whish the rest of them just disappear like that one did.


Hang there


Much love



Alice

#6 Snowbird

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 08:55 AM

Hi All

I have no experience with that but I'm sorry to hear it's so awful! Only a thought, but has anyone ever used that manuka honey (since it was proven to help with healing of finger ulcers) although it sounds strange to think of putting honey on a wound, even though it's not just any old honey??
Sending good wishes your way!

#7 omaeva

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 12:20 PM

Thanks everyone I will definitely ask about the medication.
Those of you that have taken it, how do you think it has helped?

And maybe I'll try the honey, I've heard it has great healing and antibacterial properties.

I have other deposits some have 'healed' and no longer break through the skin which is fine. I can deal with a few lumps, but this infection business on the elbow is NOT the cats pajamas.

I'd be happy to hear of any one else's experience.

#8 Kamlesh

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 03:50 PM

Hi Tru,

I agree about Colchicine. I take small dose only 0.6 mg/day and it helps greatly.
Kind regards,

Kamlesh


#9 Catty

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 05:47 AM

Hi! I am the queen of Calcium Deposits...sad to say....
The ONLY thing that has ever helped me is to have them taken out!
I have an infectin right now in my left elbow...I am trying to heal it on my own...I am taking antibiotics, and I am taking an anti-inflammatory...I have had about 10 calcium deposit surgeries...they do not ALWAYS grow back....I run very warm water over it if it is infected...it helps to draw out the infection...also...I have a salve that I use, if you want to know the name of it, please send me a private message and I'll give you the information.

Put a bandage over it cause it is messy...lol...
Try real hard not to bump your elbows.

Colchine will help with the inflammation around the deposit....
just because it gets red around a deposit does not 100% mean that it is infected...it could be just from inflammation alone....after you have been through this a lot you can usually tell if it is infected yourself.
Calcium Deposits have drove me batty for years so I know how you feel...
Good luck!
BTW...Some Dr's do not want to take these out period because of our circulation but I have always kept going until I found one who would...I always have been able to find one...So....keep trying!
Catty

#10 CraigR

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 05:54 AM

You don't mention whether this is a rheumatologist or a family physician, wich can make a difference.

Nevertheless, it seems like a second opinion is in order if a doctor doesn't seem to want to do something about a very painful situation...

Craig

#11 Catty

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 07:57 AM

I agree 100% with Craig...I have had many Dr's that would find every excuse in the book to not take mine out...they would say that there is nerves in there...well...there are nerves all over our body that I am sure are cut every time a person has an operation....nerves do tend to grow back....
I had one that was 4 inches by 6 inches taken out of my left forearm and it was infected...the plastic surgeon I went to gave me several excuses why he did not want to do it BUT I would not take NO for an answer because I was suffering so bad.
He said...Plastic Surgeons do not do this type of surgery....my answer was...Yes they do in case I need a skin graft....he said well...this is rare...
I agreed with that one...lol...He took it out and did a wonderful job and it has not grown back...problem solved. He got a real big hug...lol....
I remember this Dr. in the emergency room telling me one time to get them taken out...when I told him that I had a hard time finding a Dr. who would...he said " Keep Trying " That is just one person's opinion...get several.
Just a bit of advice here...when you go to a Dr. do not tell them that many other Dr's turned you down...act like he is the first one you have seen about it...lol... :rolleyes:
Sometimes you have to be sneaky...lol... :lol:
P.S If the deposit is over a joint ( elbows or knees ) I go to an Orthopedic Surgeon )
Catty~

#12 omaeva

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 04:53 PM

Catty thanks for the information that's very helpful. This is a rheumatologist that's saying it, I'll definitely ask him about the medication.
My elbow seems to have gotten better on it's own for the time being, usually it gets stiff and very got, then the inflammation starts. This time it was just stiff and hot and now it cooled down hopefully it'll stay that way.
Thanks for all of your responses it's been very helpful.

#13 Catty

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 04:15 AM

Also...in that area hon...you can get inflammation in your Bursa. That is THE worst pain in this world...mine got inflammed one time and and the pain was severe for 3 months....
I would have that bursa taken out if I ever had to have surgery in my elbow again to stop that pain. Also...I meant to tell you that if your elbow is severely infected that can be dangerous to operate on it at that time...you need to try to clear up the infection then try to find someone to take it out to prevent another infection...
Infection can spread when it is cut into. However I have had surgery on them when mine was infected...you are taking a chance really but I was in such severe pain that had to. I could not stand anymore pain....
I feel for you...been there done that...
Catty~

#14 debonair susie

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 03:52 AM

Hi omaeva,

I've had elbow issues in the past, but not anything like what you and some of the others are speaking of.

However, I do know that tru has suggested some great things that have worked for her...the bunion pad is an awesome idea, tru :rolleyes: I bump my elbows and can imagine that the pads would really help, especially as you have experienced yourself!
Anyway, tru...you're great and I sure hope you are doing okay right now.

omaeva...how is your elbow doing now?

Hugs All!
Susie
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#15 bookworm

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 06:41 PM

Hi All,
I also think the corn pad idea is a good one! I intend to go get some tomorrow! My doctor suggested that I sleep in those soft, lambs-wool looking elbow protectors that you see in nursing homes. This protects my elbow from rubbing on the sheets. I think I'd like the corn pad on the inside and the elbow protector on the outside. I really didn't think the elbow protctor would help at all, but it really, really does.
I don't actually know what I have on my elbow. I thought in the beginning -- five years ago-- that it was a calcium deposit and so did my rheumatologist. She sent me to specialist (bone, I think) and he exrayed it and said it was not a calcium deposit. He treated it with one thing after another and nothing worked. Then my rheumatologist sent me to another doctor -- plactic surgeon this time -- and he wrote a prescription for sulfasilvadine cream and it was the first thing that helped the elbow at all. Now the thing almost clears up, then it flares up and gets swollen and red. Unlike the calcium deposit on my knee -- which is definitely a calcium deposit -- the one on my elbow does not leak hard, sharp white crystally liquid. So I really don't know what's up with the elbow.
I haven't tried colchicine or the honey, but I may! I knew a doctor once who prescribed honey and oatmeal for all sorts of open wounds! He didn't specify which kind of honey, either.

Mary in Texas

#16 smurfette

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 09:08 PM

I have never had the same problem, but I have had some experience with wounds - my husband has turned himself into road pizza. When this has happened he has walked himself out of the hospital and has come home to me for wound dressing. I have used a product that is usually used in burn centers that is now available to the public called "second skin". I highly recomend it if your infection is open or you are trying to keep the skin cool. The product is actually a gel on a scrim that you put directly on the damaged skin and then put the special tape dressing over it. It keeps the skin moist so it heals without scarring. My husband needed it when he was in a roller blading accident and when he fell off of his mountain bike. Both times his wounds were very abrated snd had dirt and gravel in them. I used an antibiotic under the second skin.

The point is that the product will both cushion your elbow and if it is open help it to heal without getting more infected. I don't know if it is exactly what you need, but it may be worth trying. It is very soothing. I wish you luck and hope that you find some relieft. It sounds like you are suffering and I hope that we can come up with something that can make you feel better. Let me know if you try it and what you think about it. Best wishes for a solution and for you to feel better!
Smurfette

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#17 jefa

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 10:38 PM

Hi, bookworm and Snowbird

Regarding the manuka honey, our page on Digital (Finger Ulcers) gives us the following:

NZ manuka honey wound dressing wins approval from US authority. Bee products company Comvita says its patented "advanced wound care dressing" has become the first using manuka honey for wounds and burns to receive marketing clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration. Wound-care products using the honey have become increasingly valuable, as they have also been effective against some antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. The New Zealand Herald. 07/25/07.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#18 razz

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 06:31 AM

Omaeva,

It sounds like you've been given a wealth of information here. I've had a few issues with calcinosis in the past but none were infected or had to be removed. I had one in my thumb that kept coming back. I would pick it out (not recommended, very painful). Eventually the skin closed up and the calcium deposit never came back. I also had a few small acne size calcium deposits on my face that left pockmarks, like chicken pox does. Like Susie, my episodes were minor compared to what I've read here.

Your calsinosis sounds very painful. I hope with all the fantastic suggestions you've been given, you find a way to get them treated so you can heal and not have any more pain.

Keep us posted on what works for you.


Gentle hugs,
Razz

:)
Live well, Laugh often, Love much

#19 omaeva

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 07:59 PM

Thank you everyone, for all the advice and ideas.

My elbow is doing better mostly on it's own (though dealing with a DIFFERENT deposit breaking through now ugh!), it gets a little heated once in a while but doesn't seem to inflame so that's a good sign, although the stiffness tends to come and go still.
I am definitely going to ask my doctor about some of the medications, I have yet to make it an appointment.

As another question, do you notice inflammation, or calcium deposits break through the skin because of stress, or anxiety? I'm wondering at this point if it has anything to do with that, since the past few episodes of severe inflammation have come at times when everything was just hitting the fan.

I'm also a little apprehensive about the colchicine from what I've read online about it, what side affects have you experienced if any?

#20 truman

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 12:27 AM

Omaeva:

I am an extremely allergic individual and I have not experienced any problems with colchicine. I was wondering, you keep mentioning "stiffness" of your elbow comes and goes. Are you sure that isn't from the skin tightening itself? I know I've had that for about a year and I barely notice it anymore which makes me feel it comes and goes but in reality it's always there.
Tru

It is what it is...........