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Swollen knuckle and bone pains

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Unread 09-04-2011, 05:57 AM   #1
Lara
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Default Swollen knuckle and bone pains

This is not neurological I'm sure, but I have pains in my bones suddenly. Started with a pain in the front of my shin bone. I thought it was from the tight clutch in my car not that I drive it much. Then a few days ago it was like an hot needle stabbing pain. I gasped. Then my toes in the same leg decided to play up. That all was fine. Went away.

Then the past couple of days I've had a fever and felt restless and the knuckle joint on my little finger has swollen and is also painful in a line right up to the wrist, following the 5th metacarpal. Surely this is not a symptom of a flu or virus. I have an itchy bite on my wrist near where the pain is but I'm sure it's not related although I did a heap of gardening this past week. I do feel better tonight all over, but am not sure what's going on with the huge red lump of a knuckle I now have developed on my right hand. It's not hot or anything. Just painful to use my hand.

I took some aspirin earlier and it feels so much better and has allowed me to type for the moment. I feel a bit embarrassed posting this here on a Neuro site, but just wondered if anyone had any ideas.

Why would I have a fever and feel restless and have a swollen knuckle so suddenly?

Drat, I have so much to do...
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Unread 09-04-2011, 06:49 AM   #2
glenntaj
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Default Well, you do live in Oz--

--home to more delightful venomous beasties than any other corner of the world; is it possible that bite has something to do with those symptoms? An inflammatory reaction to an insect/arachnid toxin?
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Unread 09-04-2011, 07:00 AM   #3
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LOL. I figured someone would say that. It is highly possible.

It's just that the little itchy dot of a bite is so small compared with my knuckle. I didn't put two and two together.

I'm hoping. I do know it wasn't a snake. Only have one bite mark.

Was bitten by some nasty spider in the floods back in January while I was out in the sludge in my back yard. My whole foot became swollen. I'd totally forgotten about that.

I'm hoping by tomorrow I'll feel better. If not it's off to the dreaded doctor. The aspirin helped tonight, but I don't like to take the stuff.
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Unread 09-05-2011, 03:58 AM   #4
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First of all it's OK to post about non-neurological things here. We even have non medical forums, so don't feel bad about posting. We're here to help if we can.

I see you posted this yesterday, so how are you feeling today? Did you end up going to the doctor?

It would be so difficult to isolate a cause for your swollen joint without looking at it, especially with the short history that you've given, but here is a short list of possible causes.

*Trauma
*Tenosynovitis and Bursitis
*Infection in a Joint - Septic Arthritis
*Gout and Pseudo gout
*Collagen Diseases
*Connective Tisue Diseases and Other Reactive Inflammations
*Rheumatoid Arthritis
*Viral Arthritis

The first 3 are the most common causes for the symptoms you've described but I wouldn't like to guess without seeing it and getting more background history. Sorry.

I hope you feel better soon.
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Unread 09-05-2011, 07:01 AM   #5
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I hope your finger is getting better by now.

There is a general rule about hand bone swellings...

Distal joint (first joint from the finger nail) may develop hard lumps called Heberden's nodes. Normally these are supposed to be painless...but mine are not, esp when starting up.
This is typically thought to be osteoarthritis.

Swelling of the proximal knuckle joint ..at the metacarpal area can be sign of inflammatory arthritis. RA specifically.

I'd put some antibiotic ointment on that bite, just in case. Sometimes a bug can introduce staph that was already on the skin and push it into the bite....hence it may become infected.

Many years ago I was bitten on the eyelid by a black fly (these need blood to reproduce like mosquitos do). The bite itself was painless. Next day I developed a staph infection, and was very ill...high fever, swelling on that side of the face-- with the eye pushed shut. I drove 50 miles to the nearest hospital (this was in Maine), and was given erythromycin.

If anything gets worse with this thing on your hand, please see a doctor ASAP, Lara.
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Unread 09-05-2011, 05:14 PM   #6
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Thanks Koala and mrsD.

Today is Tuesday and I'm feeling a lot better. Saturday and Sunday I felt weird (edgy) and it was very painful. Felt as if I had a 'flu type thing.

The knuckle is much larger than the corresponding knuckle on my other hand but way less painful than it was. It's still tender down the metacarpal to my wrist but not hot or red and I don't have a temperature anymore.

I can use my hand today much more easily but am going to rest it up as much as I can today.

The bite is tiny. Just a little red dot, more the way I respond to a mosquito bite, but there are no mosquitoes here yet. (lots of garden spiders and biting ants though). When I was bitten by the spider in January, the actual bite area became red and raised and then started to swell. It was very hot around the area and then my ankle and foot swelled up very badly. This is nothing like that.

When I saw my gnarly knuckle it looked like someone I know who has Rheumatoid Arthritis. Don't want to go there.

I get scared when I get sick out of the blue like this because I'm alone and there's really no-one around that I can rely on to help me out. I can deal with my regular health issues but not things that floor me suddenly. If that makes sense.

Thanks for caring. I'm on the mend today (I think lol).
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Unread 09-05-2011, 05:27 PM   #7
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I certainly understand your concern Lara. You know these days, esp with just raising a new kitten....I have 3 tubes of triple antibiotic ointment around here! One downstairs, one in upstairs bathroom and one in my bedroom in a drawer next to my bed!

As we age, response to infection decreases, so any boo boo I get, has the ointment on it ASAP! LOL. And it works you know?

Don't hesitate coming on here or even messaging me! Any health question is valid here IMO.

I am relieved that you are feeling better.
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Unread 09-05-2011, 09:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mrsD View Post
....Don't hesitate coming on here or even messaging me! ....
Me too Lara. If I can help in any way, you only have to ask.
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