Musculoskeletal Manifestations of Systemic Sclerosis

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2015 Aug;41(3):507-18. doi: 10.1016/j.rdc.2015.04.011. Epub 2015 May 26.


Systemic sclerosis (SSc; scleroderma) is a chronic autoimmune connective tissue disease characterized by microvascular obliteration and sclerosis of the skin and internal organs. Although the clinical hallmark of the disease is the appearance of taut tethering of the skin, one of the earliest manifestations of SSc is a painful symmetrical arthropathy ranging from minimal arthralgia to overt polyarthritis. Musculoskeletal (MSK) involvement in SSc occurs more frequently than expected. Arthralgia is the most commonly reported manifestation. Some of the existing composite and organ-specific indices of disease activity and/or disease severity in SSc include MSK manifestations.

Keywords: Arthralgia; Arthritis; Musculoskeletal manifestations; Rehabilitation; Scleroderma; Systemic sclerosis; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Diseases / etiology
  • Calcinosis / etiology
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / etiology
  • Muscular Diseases / etiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications*
  • Tendons