Arthritis Mutilans


Arthritis mutilans is a condition of the bones in the fingers and the toes. In this condition, the bones become dislocated and disarranged. When arthritis mutilans occurs in the fingers, it is called as the opera glass hand or chronic absorptive arthritis.  When the arthritis mutilans happens in the toes the condition is called opera glass foot. It is classified as a rare type of arthritis; a severe form of rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. Not only are the bones affected here but as well as the tissues. The tissues in this condition swell and collapse.


Causes of Arthritis Mutilans

Psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis can be another sign of arthritis mutilans. Once a person suffers psoriatic arthritis, arthritis mutilans is more possible. Psoriatic arthritis is a condition when the skin suffers psoriasis where red, itchy and scaly patches appear as well as joint inflammation. This inflammation of the joints may become severe causing dislocation and shortening of the bones. When this condition becomes severe, especially the bone dislocation, the condition will be classified as arthritis mutilans.

Rheumatoid arthritis. Another illness which can be a sign of arthritis mutilans  is rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition when the immune system of the body attacks itself particularly the joints of the body instead of attacking foreign bodies causing diseases. This condition is called autoimmune system disease, and this can cause swelling of the joints in the body. When the swelling occurs in the hands and the feet, the fingers’ and toes’ joints are the ones which will be affected. When the condition gets worse, it can be classified as arthritis mutilans, especially when bones and joints become dislocated.

Signs and Symptoms of Arthritis Mutilans

Shortening of the fingers and the toes is the main sign and symptom of arthritis mutilans. This shortening may occur on a long period of time, but it is surely noticeable. The parts which are becoming shorter are the interphalangeal and metacarpophalangeal joints of the fingers. These joints are the knuckles one can feel when the hands are closed. These joints deform, fold and are dislocated from their normal position. This same signs and symptoms can happen to the feet. Once this occurs, immediately seek professional help for diagnosis and treatment.

Diagnosis of Arthritis Mutilans

There are several things doctors will do to patients who are suspected to have arthritis mutilans. First among these is a medical history check. The doctor will look into the genetic lineage of the patient in case there have been cases when some of the patient’s keen was diagnosed with arthritis mutilans. Past medications and medical conditions will also be asked to the patient.

The next part of the diagnosis is physical examination and laboratory examinations. Several tests like blood testing, checking of the weight, blood pressure, temperature, breathing pattern bowel tests, urine tests, and application of pressure on different joints will be done. Looking closely on the affected fingers and toes will also be performed by the doctor.

Radiographic examination will also be done in order to have a detailed look on the condition of the finger and toe bones. This will be the basis on what procedure or treatment the patient will be going through.

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Arthritis Mutilans, Hand

Treatment for Arthritis Mutilans

The main treatment for arthritis mutilans is surgery. Iliac-bone graft and arthrodesis of the joints affected by the disease are the procedures which are seen as a way on rendering successful results. Nonetheless, experts on surgery and rheumatology are still researching and studying the effectiveness of this kind of cure.

Aside from surgery, medications given to arthritis patients may also be prescribed by doctors especially when the cause of arthritis mutilans is psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed by doctor to ease the pain and swelling of the joints caused by arthritis.


Arthritis mutilans is a condition when the bones in the fingers and the bones suffer severe dislocation. A sign of arthritis mutilans is the shortening of the bones, and it can also be a result of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Several tests and interviews will be undergone by the patient for diagnosis. Treatment will follow after the diagnosis. Surgery is seen as a cure, but it s still studied and researched.

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