Posted by: James | 2009-09-24

Swollen Joint

Hi, I' m living in the UK at the moment and wanted a proper Doc' s opinion. A few months ago I tripped and landed on my middle finger on my right hand  the middle joint was painful, swollen and I couldn' t bend or extend it properly. The first nurse I saw thought it was broken, so she sent me for x-rays  the second nurse said the x-rays showed no breaks, only " soft tissue damage"  - I should keep it splinted to my ring finger for a few weeks until it healed.

Well, it didn' t. I saw a doctor 2 months later complaining that while I' ve regained some mobility, it' s still painful to completely extend or bend it, the joint is still swollen - specifically, on the side of the middle joint on my middle finger, there' s a hard bump facing jutting out of the side, facing my ring finger. She said I probably just damaged some ligaments which would heal within 4 weeks. This is the same doc who prescribed paracetamol for my fractured toe 2 years ago.

It' s been 3 months since I saw the doctor and there has been no change. From the sounds of things, do you think it was just ligament damage? Wouldnt that have healed properly by now? I' m convinced by the size of the joint there was some breakage, but I' m no doctor so I can' t say.

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Our expert says:
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To exclude a fracture, I will have liked to examine the x-rays of your hand. Unfortunately, that is not possible, so we will have to accept that there was no fracture. If it was fractured, buddy strapping of the finger, is the correct treatment.

I do however, think that you severely injured the ligament capsule of the third inter-phalangeal joint. A tare in the ligament of the joint, will cause the nodular swelling. I suggest that you consult a orthropaedic surgeon to have him/her examine your hand and to assess the chronic damage caused by your injury.

Refer to the following link:

I suggest that you use Ibuprofen 400mg, three times daily with meals, to alleviate some of the symptoms.


Dr Anrich Burger

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