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"Why do I have pain and redness coming from my pinky (small finger) and adjacent finger on my left hand?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have pain and redness coming from my pinky (small finger) and adjacent finger on my left hand?


I'm 29 years old and for about the last year the two left finger on my left hand have been in pain. It started as what seemed like nothing, maybe soreness. But as time has gone by the pain has been getting progressively worse and now hurts when I make a fist. It might be subconscious, but at times it seems like the pain is spreading to my middle finger and also starting in my right hand. It also seems as the the middle knuckle (the one that moves the most) is red (especially the pinky) and enlarged, but solid not just swollen. I have just seen if it would pass on its own at this point and done nothing else.


Pain, redness, and swelling of joints that goes on for any extensive period of time should be investigated by your primary care doctor. Although limited pain and swelling of a joint can be expected after a trauma to the joint, you do not mention any accident, and the involvement of both hands makes that less likely. Therefore, other possibilities should be investigated. Rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions of the joints would be a possibility. Rheumatoid arthritis often involves the first two joints of the fingers rather than the last one, which seems like what you are experiencing. It also tends to involve multiple joints in multiple sites, so it would be important also to mention to your doctor if you are having any stiffness or pain in other joints other than your hands, such as your knees or elbows, or if you notice any additional swelling. You should also be on the lookout for any fever, rash, or other unusual symptoms as these may be additional clues for your doctor. You should also be certain you do not have an infection of the joint, which would usually involve a bright red, warm, and very painful single joint. Start by talking to your primary care doctor, who can help you sort out what is going on.

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