The metacarpophalangeal (MP) joints, or knuckles, enable movement of the fingers. According to the KSF Orthopaedic Center in Houston, joint knuckle pain can limit movement, and, if severe, make simple tasks involving the use of the hands difficult or impossible to perform.
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Joint knuckle pain can be caused by damage or deterioration resulting from injury or diseases such as gout, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis (R.A.). As stated by the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, diseases such as R.A., osteoarthritis and Heberden's nodes can lead to deformity of the fingers.
Depending upon the cause of joint knuckle pain, accompanying symptoms may include swelling and stiffness. According to Desert Hand Associates in Indio, California, they can also include difficulty performing activities such as gripping utensils, writing or using a keyboard. Deformities may begin to develop, such as enlargement of knuckles or tilting of a finger joint.
Extent of Damage
Ligaments are the ties that keep finger joints from dislocating, while tendons assist in movement of the fingers. According to Desert Hand Associates, when these structures are damaged by injury or disease, fingers can become dislocated or bent and unable to be straightened.
Non-surgical options include hot or cold compresses, splinting and avoiding activities that can cause additional damage or pain to finger joints. Arthritisinhands.com says over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as Aleve or Advil, or prescribed anti-inflammatory medications such as Celebrex or Naproxen, help alleviate pain; cortisone injections will reduce swelling and relieve pain.
As stated by Desert Hand Associates, problems with tendons and muscles can be surgically corrected. Prosthetic joints can replace severely damaged or deteriorated finger joints.
Anti-inflammatory medications can have serious gastrointestinal side effects. Arthritisinhands.com recommends eating an anti-inflammatory diet that minimises red meats, eggs, wheat, simple carbohydrates and processed foods.
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