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Why has my hand suddenly swollen?


Posted by Ali

Yesterday I was reclining in the pool when I reached with my right hand to my stomach to pick up a paperback to read.  Suddenly I had pain in the large, middle knuckle.  As I moved it, I saw what I think is cartilage (runs down the middle of my hand to my fingers, not blood vessel) move back and forth across the width of that knuckle.  It swelled immediately and turned black and blue.  I did nothing about it but late this afternoon (the next day) decided to try ice.  After one 20-min application nothing changed.  Years ago I was diagnosed with rhuematoid arthritis (in my finger knuckles)and wonder this new thing may be connected.  Thank you.
 
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Wow!  That's amazing!  Ice is usually a great idea for an injury while heat is reserved for infections.  But for either to work, they must be used immediately.  Swelling is not likely to improve after just 20 minutes of ice a day after an injury.  I'm not sure what you saw moving back & forth but if your joint turned black & blue, it sounds like a blood vessel broke.  Blood can lead to swelling, too.  But I'm not clear why it happened all of a sudden.  An acute fracture, perhaps?  Best to go see your family physician for an examination and possibly some exrays.  Of course, if your hand/finger is numb & tingling or the pain is out of porportion to what you'd expect or you can't move your hand/finger, you might want to see emergent medical evaluation rather than wait 48 hours for your family physician's office to open up again on Monday.  Good luck!
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