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Does a hard bump on the middle knuckle without flexibility cause any problem ?

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2397 Questions
Hi a couple of weeks ago I punched a wall out of frustration. I've done this before with no ill effect as I tend to not hit that hard for fear doing damage, but this time I guess I hit it harder than I antisipated. Anyways, my middle knuckle took the brunt of the hit and it along with my hand swelled up huge. After a week the swelling went down alot and now the swelling is all gone and I can clentch a fist and move just fine. The issue is, that right above my middle knuckle there's a hard bump, and I've lost the flexibility of that finger as I can not freely move it back as far as my other hand, or reach it down as far either. Any possible conculsions? Being I did this to my self, I want to avoid going to a doctor, but at the same time I don't want any serious damage. Please help.
Posted Tue, 17 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 47 minutes later
Hello and thanks for your query.

First of all let me reassure you that we as physicians understand human nature and if you were to visit me in the office I would not focus on blaming you for doing this to yourself. The focus is more on helping you improve yourself. I'd like to think that most physicians would offer you the same courtesy.

As for the area of swelling, it is possible that you may have injured one of the tendons in the hand. Sometimes with trauma there can be shifting or displacement of some of the tendons or ligaments which affect movement of our joints. More often than not, this area will slowly improve with time.

You could use some anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen for the next week or so in addition to doing some gentle range of motion exercises with your finger to maintain mobility. Any kind of activity should be avoided which may cause pain, swelling or any other discomfort. If the area does not improve within 2 weeks I recommend you visit with your GP who can assess this and consider what to do next which might include a referral to a hand specialist.

Again I thank you for submitting your query. I hope this information has been both informative and helpful. Should you have additional concerns, I am available to address them.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Does a hard bump on the middle knuckle without flexibility cause any problem ? 35 hours later
Thank you very much Dr XXXXXXX for the follow up. It's been about 3 weeks already since I hit the wall and all of the swelling is gone. Is that bump I was telling you about part or some left over swelling? It is hard to the touch but not hot, what would you recommend about this?
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 9 hours later
Hello again and thanks for the followup.

I think what you have is possibly some residual swelling or fluid which is trapped beneath some of the tissue of the hand. It can have the texture of something solid. I think taking ibuprofen for the next 10 days may help the swelling and lead to hopefully some resolution. You might also do warm soaks of the hand in some Epsom salts to see of this helps.

If the swelling persists and it is bothersome to you you could see a hand specialist who could possibly drain the area of swelling as well in a minor procedure.

I hope again that this has been informative and helpful. Please let s know if there are any additional concerns.


Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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