D is for dactylitis

November 3, 2022

Dacylitis is the swelling of a toe that typical occurs in psoriasitic arthritis. It also get called ‘sausage toe’.

Dactylitis, also known as sausage digit, is a condition characterized by the swelling and inflammation of an entire finger or toe. The term “dactylitis” is derived from the Greek words “daktylos,” meaning finger or toe, and “itis,” indicating inflammation.

Symptoms: Dactylitis typically presents as a swollen, red, and tender finger or toe. The affected digit may resemble a sausage in appearance, hence the term “sausage digit.” In addition to swelling and inflammation, individuals with dactylitis may experience pain, stiffness, warmth, and difficulty in moving the affected digit.

Causes: Dactylitis can be associated with various underlying medical conditions. The most common cause is psoriatic arthritis, a type of arthritis that affects some individuals with psoriasis. Other conditions that may lead to dactylitis include reactive arthritis, sickle cell disease, sarcoidosis, infection (such as due to certain bacteria or viruses), and sometimes in rare cases, certain types of cancer.

Diagnosis: A healthcare professional will typically evaluate the symptoms and medical history of the individual to diagnose dactylitis. They may perform a physical examination of the affected digit and may order additional tests, such as blood tests, imaging (such as X-rays or ultrasound), or joint fluid analysis to identify the underlying cause.

Treatment: The treatment of dactylitis primarily focuses on managing the underlying condition. This may involve a combination of medications, lifestyle modifications, and supportive measures. The specific treatment approach will depend on the underlying cause and may involve:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids to reduce pain and inflammation.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or biologic medications to treat underlying inflammatory conditions.
Immune-suppressing medications in certain cases.
Physical therapy or exercises to improve joint mobility and function.
Using cold or warm compresses, splints, or supports to alleviate symptoms.


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