Diabetes amongst people living in UAE is a growing concern and figures from International Diabetes Federation revealed that 17.3% of people aged between 29 and 75 have Type 2 diabetes, and currently there are over 1 million people in UAE suffering from Diabetes. These patients suffer from many orthopaedic problems affecting joints, nerves and wound healing problems. Females are more affected than males with a ratio of 2:1.
Common upper limb problems diabetic patients include:
Frozen shoulder: Patients present with sudden onset of severe pain, lasting for a few weeks to months and later on becoming stiff with less pain. Over 90% of patients are cured without any intervention but some diabetic patients are resistant and require medical intervention.
Carpal tunnel syndrome: Pressure of the nerve in the hand leading to numbness in the fingers, weakness, and pain. They can lead to irreversible problems if not treated and may require a small surgery to release the pressure on the nerve.
Trigger finger: Initially there is a pain in the palm of the hand due to inflammation of the tendon leading to jamming of the fingers and can at times get locked and unable to straighten or bend.
Dupuytren’s contracture: Common in men, usually Caucasian. Patients start noticing some lumps in the palm and fingers leading to skin contractures and fingers start curling towards the palm. This is progressive and some require special injections or surgery.
Often patients come with one of the above problems and upon investigating, diabetes could be diagnosed incidentally. The prognosis and outcome of these problems are dependent on how well diabetes is under control. Although these conditions are usually self-limiting, they can be wrongly diagnosed, not appropriately treated leading to complications and poor outcome. It is recommended when symptoms do not improve that you seek expert opinion and get treated for both, the orthopaedic and underlying diabetes.
Dr. Bhuvaneshwar Machani - Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon HealthBay Orthopaedic and Physiotherapy Centre (HealthBay Polyclinic BR)
Address: HealthBay Polyclinic, Al Wasl Road, Dubai
Telephone No: 800 HBPC (4272)