Scleroderma (musculoskeletal manifestations)

Musculoskeletal manifestations of scleroderma are common and variable.

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

Radiographic features

Plain radiograph

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

Bone changes:
  • acro-osteolysis (resorption of the distal phalanges)
  • periarticular osteopenia
  • joint space narrowing
  • erosions
  • severe resorption of the first CMC joint with radial subluxation is a characteristic feature on hands radiographs 
Soft tissue changes:
Other less common documented musculoskeletal findings:
  • rib resorption (bilateral superior rib notching, predominantly along posterior surface), mandibular angle resorption (+/- loss of lamina dura), radius and ulna resorption
  • terminal phalangeal sclerosis

Differential diagnosis

See also