Have you heard of finger amputation due to the condition?

Hi..a minor injury to my right index finger was the event that triggered an inflammatory response in my body about 7 months ago. In that time, I have completely lost the function of my right index finger–it is bent at roughly a 45 degree angle, completely immovable and my rheumatologist has told me that there is nothing I can do about it–this was three months ago. Also, OT confirmed this, but I have yet to see a hand surgeon. Four months ago I started Enbrel and asked to hold off on methotrexate as I just wasn’t ready to sign up for the potency of such a drug–perhaps this was mistake, but my rheumy seemed to concur because, at the time, my labs we normal despite symmetrical and significant inflammation in my fingers (has cortisone injections to no avail), carpal tunnel-like symptoms, profound and debilitating fatigue, problems with my eyes as well. Anyway, at this point, the finger serves no purpose except to cause extreme pain in the event I bump it into someone because it doesn’t flex. I know this sounds totally absurd and perhaps it is, but has anyone ever heard of or experienced selective finger amputation as a result of RA. I just want the finger gone if it can’t be fixed at this point because it causes more grief than function.


Community Answers
  • Richard Faust moderator
    1 year ago

    Sorry to hear that you are having these difficulties kingkatekong. Before you meet with a surgeon, thought you might be interested in this article from our editorial team on hand and wrist surgery, so that you have some information to go into the meeting with (information is power): https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/surgery/hand-and-wrist-surgery/.

    Concerning the methotrexate, just like with your hand, the decision on medications for treatment is a personal one. One possibility that I wanted to mention is combination therapy. In this case the methotrexate would be used in combination with a biologic. This potentially allows for using less of each and thus mitigating side-effects. This article from our editorial team offers more information: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/treatment/combinations-of-conventional-and-biologic-dmards/. Your rheumatologist should be able to provide additional guidance.

    Hope this information is helpful. You are always welcome here with questions or just for support. Wishing you best and please keep us posted on how you are doing. Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • Erin Rush moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi kingkatekong! I don’t think your thoughts are absurd at all! This is something I would definitely discuss with the hand surgeon, when you go in to see him/her. Someone that specializes in hand issues should be able to give you some sound, educated feedback on this. As I say a lot in this community; it is your body! If you feel something is wrong, then you should trust yourself. In the end, you are the one living in your body. If you have researched and thought out your decision, then that is what matters the most. I will say that I have not heard of any voluntary finger amputations within our community, but I know some members have had some toes removed. Hopefully, they will chime in and share their thoughts and experiences with you. Thank you for reaching out and good luck pursuing the best option for you and your hand! Please feel free to come back and update us on your situation, if you feel comfortable doing so. Member input and experience is a valuable part of this community! Best, Erin, RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member.

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