The main features are inflammation, pain, and swelling of the fingers, toes, hands, and/or feet. As a result, the digits are often referred to as "sausage fingers." Fever is also common. Furthermore, the overall clinical picture will reflect the underlying disease.
Sickle-cell dactylitis affects young children and is self-limiting. Moreover, this type is associated with shortening of the digits which is also observed in tuberculosis dactylitis, syphilitic dactylitis and other pathologies  .
There is also another form referred to as blistering distal dactylitis. This describes a superficial infection of the anterior fat pad of the distal portion of a finger, which occurs predominantly in the pediatric population . The organism responsible for this are group A beta-hemolytic streptococci.
Since there are numerous etiologies for dactylitis, the patient should be evaluated for them. The assessment consists of the history, detailed physical exam, and testing for the underlying disease. Radiography is the initial diagnostic study of choice while computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are useful modalities for the exclusion of differential diagnoses .
Therapy aims to treat the underlying disease. In cases of psoriatic arthritis , nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are usually the first-line treatment. According to the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), when NSAIDS and/or glucocorticoid injections are ineffective, then disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) should be considered . Examples include tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha inhibitors such as infliximab and targeted biologic therapies. Various classes of drugs can be used in conjunction with each other as well.
Physical and occupational therapy may benefit patients, especially if the disease is disabling.
There is no method for prevention.
Dactylitis is an inflammatory disease which causes pain and swelling of the finger(s) and toe(s), which look like sausage fingers. There are many causes such as sickle-cell anemia, psoriatic arthritis, and others. It is diagnosed by history, physical exam, blood tests and imaging. The treatment depends on the cause.
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