Scleroderma in the Common Orthopaedic Practice: A Review
Scleroderma is a chronic, degenerative disease that affects the joints, skin, and internal organs. Scleroderma is also associated with blood vessel abnormalities. It occurs only rarely in children. There are two forms of scleroderma: generalized, that may also be systemic, and localized scleroderma. Localized scleroderma can be seen more frequently in children than the systemic form. The first signs of the disease involve reddish patches of the skin on the trunk, arms, legs, or head. Although the orthopaedic surgeon is rarely involved in the primary treatment of patients with scleroderma, he may be helpful towards making a diagnosis through an early referral to a rheumatologist or dermatologist.