Extreme Swelling in the Hand

Posted by Mamacita, Volunteer Mentor @mamacita, Jan 23 8:48am

What would cause extreme swelling in the hand, pain for a solid week, no significant bacterial level, xrays show nothing. My husband is supposed to go back to his PCP this afternoon if the two antibiotics have not significantly reduced his swrlling and pain level. I'm wondering if it is a circulatory system blockage. His doctor said nothing about any such thing. I am very concerned.

Anyone have any thoughts? @Colleen Young, do you have any advice?

Mamacita Jane

Hi @mamacita, did your husband have a chance to see his PCP? Did the swelling start on its own or after some sort of injury? Is it painful? I did a quick search on things that could cause hand swelling and it is quite a large array, some of which are not serious and some are signs of an underlying issue. Did he get any other advice from the PCP?

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@JustinMcClanahan

Hi @mamacita, did your husband have a chance to see his PCP? Did the swelling start on its own or after some sort of injury? Is it painful? I did a quick search on things that could cause hand swelling and it is quite a large array, some of which are not serious and some are signs of an underlying issue. Did he get any other advice from the PCP?

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@JustinMcClanahan , thank you for responding. We went back to the PA yesterday.

Stuart is being treated "as if" he has gout.
He will have an MRI on Tuesday to rule out any structural abnormalities that might be blocking normal blood flow.

X rays did not show anything amiss.
PA repeated blood tests to see if bacterial count is higher.

He has a low grade fever now. Still on two strong antibiotics.

The doctors are puzzled. He was not bitten.
He did not injure his hand. At this point, I am clueless.

Hopefully the MRI will give us some clues.
They do not believe it is Lymphedema. It is possible that it could be some kind of aftereffect of meds that he routinely takes.

We will get the new test results this next week. If we still dont get any news that makes sense, he will be sent to a specialist.

Still, it helps to have Mayo Clinic Connect pulling for us.

Thank you for your support,
Mamacita Jane

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@mamacita I came across your post as I went through the Daily Digest that arrives in my inbox each day.
My thoughts, in no particular order:
-is this limited to one hand only? Generalized or in one particular area? Is there any pain in movement? Any time of day it is more prevalent? Swelling increase or decrease in relation to meal times? Any sign, no matter how minute, of a track or entry as in insect bite/splinter? Any change in color of the affected hand? Does ice to the affected area help the swelling? Has he tried aspirin or acetaminophen to relieve the discomfort?
-Possibilities: allergies to something environmental, be it blooming/flowering flora, or bite from a little critter, or exposure to a chemical agent. Muscle bruising from overuse in a repetitive action. Change in inactive ingredients in a medication he is taking.
We will be waiting to hear what you find out.
Ginger

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No bites at all. Not a critter. MRI showed signs of arthritis. Swelling has gone down with addition of steroids this week. Thank you Ginger!!!
Mamacita Jane

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@JustinMcClanahan

Hi @mamacita, did your husband have a chance to see his PCP? Did the swelling start on its own or after some sort of injury? Is it painful? I did a quick search on things that could cause hand swelling and it is quite a large array, some of which are not serious and some are signs of an underlying issue. Did he get any other advice from the PCP?

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@JustinMcClanahan we really dont know where we are in this thing. He's started steroids and the last blood tests were to figure out of it is a rare type of arthritis or even lupus.

The MRI did show some signs of inflamnation.No breaks or hairline fractures.

The next step will be to a Rheumatologist. He hasnt been able to drive or even shower without assistance.

We are anxious for answers but it all tskes time.

Mamacita Jane

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I don't know if this will help but I've had dozens of x-ray and mri's the only thing that showed my issues was a CT scan. Maybe it will show something that can't be seen on regular scans? Good luck.

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Hi, I have been reading your comments above. I too have swelling of the hand(s). It started in September of last year. Both hand had intense swelling that I could barely move my fingers and it really hurt. I didn’t go to the Dr. right away because I was going to the Mayo Clinic the next week. When I was there I mentioned to the neurologist about my hands and symptoms, but she just mentioned that she specialized in CMT but she would do blood tests. X-rays where eventually taken, blood work results showed osteoporosis but no MRI done and no CT scan done. When I went back to my local Dr. he recommended an arthritis Dr appt. and so I went. Lab tests done. Same thing diagnosis osteoporosis. No MRI and no CT scan. So home I went feeling frustrated. I have to live with it. I still have swelling and now my right hand thumb has what I call “trigger finger. The middle finger tendon is curving downwards ( I keep stretching it a little at a time). This cannot be osteoporosis. What should I do?

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@alyThis sounds like Dupuytren's contracture I would see
a Rheumatologistt for conclusion of this

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@aly

Hi, I have been reading your comments above. I too have swelling of the hand(s). It started in September of last year. Both hand had intense swelling that I could barely move my fingers and it really hurt. I didn’t go to the Dr. right away because I was going to the Mayo Clinic the next week. When I was there I mentioned to the neurologist about my hands and symptoms, but she just mentioned that she specialized in CMT but she would do blood tests. X-rays where eventually taken, blood work results showed osteoporosis but no MRI done and no CT scan done. When I went back to my local Dr. he recommended an arthritis Dr appt. and so I went. Lab tests done. Same thing diagnosis osteoporosis. No MRI and no CT scan. So home I went feeling frustrated. I have to live with it. I still have swelling and now my right hand thumb has what I call “trigger finger. The middle finger tendon is curving downwards ( I keep stretching it a little at a time). This cannot be osteoporosis. What should I do?

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@aly I am not a medical practitioner but I will tell you that my best friend has the beginnings of Dupuytrens. It looks a lot like what you are describing.

My husband has not had full use of his hand going on a month now. His doctors have referred him to a bone specialist.

They have ruled out RA and Lupus. He is on steroids which raise his blood sugars to an unacceptable high.

He cannot do any of the things he used to do.
It has really changed the dynamics here at home. I have been gently pushed out of my comfort zone so that we can have some kind of normalcy.

Heres hoping that you find some answers either here or at one of your doctors. These things take time. I know it is tiresome in the waiting not knowing what you are facing. Even frightening.

Yesterday I looked at his PA and said " Does this look like something that is lifethreatening? Thankfully she said no.

Can you come back and let us know how you are doing? I will continue to investigate these types of conditions on my own. I will continue to ask questions.

Prayers and hugs sent your way…
Mamacita Jane

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