Jump to content


Do visit our News Forum for the latest, up to date, stellar information on Scleroderma! We also have the Medical News on our sidebar on the right of the Forums' topic thread lists.

Photo

Weakness in arms


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 annkd

annkd

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 180 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, Ca.

Posted 08 March 2010 - 05:55 AM

Hello all. I have been experiencing a lot of muscle weakness in my arms and hands over the last several months. I seem to drop things more often and using a knife or opening a jar is much more difficult. I saw my hand surgeon the other day on another matter and I mentioned this issue and he said it could be the start of carpel tunnel. I feel tingling throughout my arms and there is an ache that is constant. Can any one relate to this and give me some ideas as to the cause. I will make an appointment with my primary care physician and see what he says...or should I talk to my rheumatologist...or both? Thanks! - Ann

#2 Shelley Ensz

Shelley Ensz

    Root Administrator

  • ISN Root Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,217 posts
  • Location:Minnesota

Posted 08 March 2010 - 09:13 AM

Hi Ann,

I'm sorry you are having hand and arm weakness lately. You mentioned that you saw your hand surgeon the other day. Have you already had surgery on your hands, and if so, for what?

Just as a matter of policy, I always see my internist (primary care doctor) first on everything. If you have a good internist for your primary care doctor (which I highly recommend), then you can have it as a matter of policy to always see them first for everything and they will let you know when it requires a specialist consultation. And in the meantime, they can also quickly rule out many possibilities, narrowing down the field in case experts are needed.

Going straight to the specialist, well, they might only look at things through the lens of their specialty, and ignore or dismiss things that don't fall neatly within their specific category; so they might just send you back to the primary care doctor or skip a step and send you straight to another specialist. Thus, I've found it a lot less confusing to have a primary doctor to always run everything by, first of all.

You can also ask your rheumatologist, next time you see them, what process they'd like you to use in the event of new symptoms. Many of them prefer to have us handle things immediately with our primary care doctors, and then see them on a regular basis with the overall recap and records. Also, some of them only allow a few minutes (like 10 or 15) for a follow-up visit and the big picture can be missed if they are trying to troubleshoot just one particular issue. Other centers allow more time on every visit and expect you to have them handle all new issues...but you just don't know until you ask.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

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

#3 Joelf

Joelf

    Diamond Member

  • ISN Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,936 posts
  • Location:West Sussex

Posted 08 March 2010 - 09:33 AM

Hi Ann

I've had bi-lateral carpal tunnel syndrome, had the compression operations and have natty little matching scars on both hands!! ;) At the time I didn't realise I had Sclero and of course nobody even suggested it; it's only with hindsight that I now realise the whole thing was connected.

I started out with the most dreadful pain and tingling in my hands and fingers, also going up my arms to my elbows; I have a fairly high pain threshold but my hands and wrists were excruciating, so much so that it kept me awake at night. :( Even after the compression operations were done my hands were still very swollen and painful and I also had terrible trouble opening jars and bottles (I still do sometimes but everything seems to be sealed up so tightly these days!! :angry: )

I'm not medically trained so obviously can't say whether your symptoms are the same as mine were, but I think I would certainly see your doctor and possibly your rheumatologist as a lot of people have carpal tunnel syndrome but of course don't have Sclero; however one of the rheumatologists I saw at The Royal Free said that there is quite a high incidence of people with Sclero having carpal tunnel as well.

Do let me know the result of your doctors' visit/s. :)

Jo Frowde
ISN Sclero Forums Manager
ISN News Manager

ISN Chat Host
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)


#4 annkd

annkd

    Silver Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 180 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, Ca.

Posted 09 March 2010 - 05:32 AM

Many thanks for your input. Shelley, I had a giant cell tumor on my right hand middle finger removed about a year ago. It is extremely rare to find this type of tumor in the hands. The healing was so slow and the nerve ending discomfort has never gone away. I am going to be seeing my primary care physician and talk about this overall pain in my arms and hands. Again. My thanks to you both! -Ann

#5 ladyhawke

ladyhawke

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 153 posts

Posted 09 March 2010 - 05:10 PM

I have carpel tunnel, was tested for it before diagnosed with sclero. Was scheduled for the operation on both wrists but when I got the sclero they put it off. That was 3 years ago. Now that I'm weaning off the prednisone, I'm getting the carpel pain back. I tested again for it and it's about the same as it was 3 years ago. They said that it won't go away but with the sclero, the operation won't help much so I've opted not to bother with it.

It stared with numb hands, not being able to open jars, dropping things a lot and then I got the arm weakness where I couldn't even put my hands over my head, couldn't take my shirt off etc etc. That was the beginning of my scleroderma experience. So yes I can relate to the symptoms, but once I got on the prednisone and imuran, I got better. Haven't had that kind of weakness since then (thank goodness), but I do remember it well....sigh....I hope you get some answers.

Hugs,

Lisa
Life is NOT meant to be a struggle. Life is meant to be joyously abundant.

#6 Buttons

Buttons

    Senior Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 610 posts
  • Location:UK

Posted 10 March 2010 - 05:08 AM

Hi Ann,

I've had both my carpal tunnels operated on, I had some muscle atrophy in my hands because I'd left it so long before going to doctors about it, my rheumatologist did the nerve tests and then sent me on to the surgeon. They are much better now.

I now get a lot of numbness/tingling and weakness in my arms which seems to start in my shoulder blade area so my general practitioner sent me for a CT scan and apparently I have nerve roots trapped in my spine so am now waiting to see the neuro surgeon because he thinks it will need some sort of decompression surgery on it. I must admit that when it triggers really badly it does bring me to tears because of the pain. I am hoping that they can just give me some sort or exercise to help free it because I'm not sure about having an operation on my spine.

Take Care

Buttons

#7 annkd

annkd

    Silver Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 180 posts
  • Location:Sacramento, Ca.

Posted 10 March 2010 - 09:54 AM

Buttons - my pain starts at my shoulders, also. It radiates down my arms right down to my finger tips. Of late, my Raynaud's has been pretty bad as well. Don't know if there is any connection. I am waiting for a reply from my primary care physician (oddly, his office never takes this long to get back - don't know what is going on). Thanks for letting know your experience. Warm hugs, Ann

#8 Buttons

Buttons

    Senior Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 610 posts
  • Location:UK

Posted 11 March 2010 - 02:59 AM

Ann, my rheumatologist says that a lot of the pain I experience is down to the Raynaud's, I have to say though that I'm not totally convinced by that statement.

Buttons