ZocdocAnswersDo you think I might have arthritis, gout or guyon's canal syndrome?

Question

Do you think I might have arthritis, gout or guyon's canal syndrome?

I'm 23 years old, male, and every night for the past 7-10 days my middle finger, ring finger and pinky on my right hand start to swell, ache, itch and burn at around 2-3 in the morning. The side of my hand also burns and aches. When I wake up the same fingers also feel stiff. A couple of fingers also seem to have bumps on the right side (tophi???) when the pain starts. My middle finger seems to have this bump throughout the day, although it's not painful. I use a computer mouse for 12 hours every day and go to bed at around 4am every night. Thanks.

Answer

I would definitely go to see your primary care doctor about this issue, since it seems to be quite severe and is persisting for more than one week. Although I can't definitely rule this out without knowing more about your medical history, gout would be extremely unlikely in someone your age, especially if you don't have any significant medical history. However, the bumps on your hand will need to be investigated closely by your doctor. More likely, based on the nature of the pain you are having (burning and aching); you may have a nerve problem. You are quite right to raise the possibility of Guyon's canal syndrome, which involves pressure on the ulnar nerve and will cause nerve pain that in most prominent on the pinky side of the hand, just like you are having. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also a possibility, although this tends more to cause pain on the thumb side of the hand. The fact that you use a computer mouse all day is highly suspicious, because this is often a setup for compression of the nerves in the hand or wrist, leading to the type of pain you are having. Make an appointment with your doctor today!

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