Scleroderma (musculoskeletal manifestations)

Musculoskeletal manifestations of scleroderma are common and variable.

For a general discussion of scleroderma, please refer to the parent article: scleroderma.

Plain radiograph

Imaging findings demonstrate bone and soft tissue changes 2,3,4. The hands are the most common site of involvement.

Bone changes:
  • acro-osteolysis (resorption of the distal phalanges)
  • periarticular osteoporosis
  • joint space narrowing
  • erosions
  • severe resorption of the first CMC joint with radial subluxation is a characteristic feature on hands radiographs 
Soft tissue changes:
  • subcutaneous and periarticular calcification
  • atrophy especially at tips of fingers
  • flexion contractures
Other less common documented musculoskeletal findings:
  • rib resorption, mandibular angle resorption, radius and ulna resorption
  • terminal phalangeal sclerosis
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Article information

rID: 9854
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Systemic sclerosis (musculoskeletal manifestations)
  • Musculoskeletal manifestations of scleroderma

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