Arthritis Q&A by Dr. Shiel

My husband has been taking Methotrexate as prescribed by his rheumatologist. However, he is getting abnormal growth/tumors in his hands and wrists accompanied by weakness and tingling. What could this be related to?

Answer:

Methotrexate is commonly used to treat inflammatory forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, in the hands and wrists. The swelling that occurs in the joints of the hands and wrists is referred to as synovitis. Synovitis actually is due to thickening of the tissue that lines the joint and increased production of fluid by the lining. It is precisely this lining tissue that is attacked by the immune system in rheumatoid arthritis.

Sometimes swelling in the wrist can irritate the nerve that passes through a confined space in the wrist. When the nerve is irritated it causes tingling in the fingers and weakness. This condition is called carpal tunnel syndrome.

Thank you for your question.


Last Editorial Review: 1/16/2007



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