Diagnosing & Treating Sclerodactyly of the Hand (Part 2)
Fingers that have begun to curl inward, accompanied by skin of the hand that is becoming hard and rigid may be symptoms of a rare but potentially crippling condition called Sclerodactyly. Prompt diagnosis and treatment by a hand specialist is important to stop the progression of the condition.
In this two part article board certified Oakland County hand specialist Dr. Uzma Rehman discusses the symptoms, causes and treatment of Sclerodactyly.
It is extremely important to see a hand specialist for treatment of Sclerodactyly in the initial, early stages before the hands have hardened.
To provide relief from sclerodactyly, Oakland County hand specialist Dr. Rehman may recommend one or more forms of treatment, including occupational and physical therapy, ultraviolet (UV) light, and surgery.
Physical therapy for Sclerodactyly of the Hand
Our expert highly trained physical therapists specialize in conditions of the hand. Early symptoms have seen demonstrable relief through specialized hand exercises, some of which are also recommended by hand specialist Dr. Rehman to treat other types of arthritis.
Hand specialist Dr. Rehman’s specialized team of hand therapists provide patients with specially formed hand casts that allow sclerodactyly patients to carry out their normal routines both during the day and nighttime hours. Specially designed to take the shape most useful for carrying out daily activities, these casts are allow for continued productivity even during times when patients’ hands harden.
UV Treatment for Sclerodactyly of the Hand
UV light therapy is another, though fairly recent, treatment that can effectively treat some cases Sclerodactyly. Patients’ hands are exposed to ultraviolet A1 light – the spectrum that is found in sunlight. Hand specialist Dr. Rehman uses the UVA1 light to aid in the decomposition of collagen proteins that have hardened under the skin’s tissue. While an effective method of treatment, UVA1 therapy should be avoided by individuals with histories of skin cancers, as well of those with sunlight intolerance.
Surgery for Sclerodactyly of the Hand
While surgery can also be performed to provide relief from the pain of sclerodactyly and systemic scleroderma, hand specialist Dr. Rehman emphasizes that surgery is not capable of simply making the condition go away completely. In addition to providing pain relief, however, surgery also has the benefit of being able to reposition the patient’s fingers, which can improve the hand’s usefulness.
Oakland County Hand Specialists
Although there is still no cure for Sclerodactyly, innovative treatments and therapies have improved the prognosis substantially in the last few years.
However, it is extremely important to see Oakland County hand specialist Dr. Rehman as early as possible – for a correct diagnosis and proper treatment – before the claw-like condition sets in. She can diagnose the underlying cause of your Sclerodactyly – and then and create a treatment and physical therapy plan to help relieve symptoms, restore hand function, and avoid progression of the condition.