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80 yr old, having swelling in hands. X-ray normal. Reason?

My 80 yr. old mother is experiencing a very swollen hand(s). In getting up from bed, she has torn her shoulder . She went to Dr. and got a shot in shoulder. Then her hand started swelling and thought she perhaps injured her wrist when pushing herself up. Xray negative on wrist. Still having shoulder pain, a tear confirmed. What might be causing the persistent swelling in the hand (actually both hands). One is more swollen than the other. Her docs can t seem to come to a conclusion. Thank you for any insight.
Asked On : Sun, 10 Feb 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  31
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Thanks for writing in.

Your mother might have retention of fluids in the hands which is causing swollen appearance. This has got nothing to do with bones hence X rays are normal. Edema (swelling) of the hands can be associated with generalized fluid collection or hypoproteinemia. To tell whether the edema is protein-rich or hypoalbuminemic in origin, check the pit recovery time. Push into the edema fluid to produce a pit. Protein-poor fluid will spring back quickly (like pushing into a balloon filled with saline); protein-rich fluid retains the pit for more than 2 minutes. Protein-poor fluid suggests hepatic disease, renal disease, or malnutrition. Protein-rich fluid suggests cardiac disease (congestive heart failure) or inflammation.

Hope this helps
Answered: Sun, 24 Nov 2013
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