Abnormalities of joint alignment in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are
characterized by subluxation or dislocation without erosion. Hand deformities (“lupus
hands”) in SLE patients include ulnar deviation, swan neck deformity, and thumb Z
deformity. However, abnormalities in alignment are widespread and can occur in the
wrists, shoulders, hips, knees, toes, and spine. Osteonecrosis and fracture can also
occur as alignment abnormalities. In addition, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other
complications such as scleroderma and inflammatory myositis may also occur, making
the alignment abnormalities complex. An understanding of alignment abnormalities in
SLE is helpful in diagnosing the condition of the disease and establishing a treatment
strategy. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of alignment
abnormalities in SLE from various perspectives.
Keywords: Hand deformities, Joint alignment, Lupus hands, Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).