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November 26, 2000

Complications

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Question from Leicester, Massachusetts, USA:

I am seeking information regarding treatment for limited joint mobility. I have had type�1 diabetes for 35 years and have recently been diagnosed with cheiroarthropathy. Will the stiffness go into a remission? I feel like an 82 year old, not a 42 year old. Other than physical therapy, what is the treatment for this? I have had trigger finger releases (three times), frozen shoulder more than 16 months, plantar faciitis, and now, daily, have every joint in my body stiff, especially when I sit or lie for too long.

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

I am sorry to hear about the problems you are having with your joints. I do not know much about cheiroarthropathy, but I refer you to an article: Postgrad Med 1999 Feb;105(2):99-101, 105-6. The abstract of the article is included below. The entire article can be found at PubMed by searching for the term “cheiroarthropathy”. Limited joint mobility in diabetes by Aljahlan M, Lee KC, Toth E at the Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine, Vancouver, Canada.
Cheiroarthropathy is a syndrome usually associated with diabetes mellitus that involves mainly the small joints of the hand. It is generally painless and seldom treated until hand deformity is severe enough to interfere with daily life. Because cheiroarthropathy is correlated with microvascular complications of diabetes, patients with hand symptoms should be carefully investigated for neuropathy, retinopathy, and nephropathy. Improved control of diabetes is the cornerstone of management, but surgery and corticosteroid injection may alleviate severe symptoms in some patients.
ML