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Hurt knuckle after a fall.Pain while extending, clenching, weird circular knuckle motion. Should worry ?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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Hello. Fell of bicycle and hurt my knuckle. I landed on it to avoid hitting my face. It hurts most when I extend my fingers. It's the finger next to the pinky. When I clench it hurts a bit, and sometimes it does this weird movement were the knuckle moves in a circular motion while clenching, and this doesn't happen every time, every few clenches I get one where I get this weird circular knuckle motion. I'm in Laos and there is no hospital around. Pain is not too bad. I just want to make sure it's not serious. Again, it hurts most when I extend, clenching isn't too bad. When I touch it, the bit that hurts is the part of knuckle that's next to the middle finger. Im using tape and I have my injured finger taped to my middle finger to avoid extending and clenching. No swelling.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 3 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
Pain in the knuckles more on extending seems to be due to a tendon injury. A bone injury like a hairline fracture is also a possibility.
It is good that you have bandaged the injured finger with the middle finger to avoid movement. In most of the cases such injuries do heal spontaneously after adequate rest in 4-6 weeks.
Since there is no hospital around, you can take an OTC pain killer and do a cold compress in the area for relief. Avoid any movement as much as possible. For diagnosis it is important to get an x-ray and a MRI scan of the area done. X-rays are very sensitive for picking up any fracture and MRI is one of the best tests for ruling out and identifying soft tissue injuries.
I recommend you to consult an Orthopedician for proper examination and required investigations.

I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Hurt knuckle after a fall.Pain while extending, clenching, weird circular knuckle motion. Should worry ? 19 hours later
Hi doctor. Thanks for the reply.

So I went to a neighboring town to get an X-ray. I got it and nothing is broken. But there was no doctor to check it, theres no doctor in the whole hospital , Only the xray guy. So he said its okay and nothing is broken ( in sign language ) He gave me anti biotics and tramadol. I doubt I need anti biotics and the tramadol is just a joke, definitely don't need it, they prescribe heavy stuff here likes its Advil.

So anyways if nothing's broken it's a tendon. It also feels like a tendon. So just to make sure I'm on the right page :

1. The funny movement of the knuckle that happens every once in a while when i clench is okay and it will heal with time and it's due to the tendon ?

2. For the tendon to heal, it needs 4 to 6 weeks of rest and I'll keep it wrapped to my middle finger ?

Just to make sure, I won't get charged for this since it's a follow up right ? If I will get charged please let me know before you reply. I might pass.

Thank you and all the best.

Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
You need not worry about the charges. You can ask two follow up queries after a main query. Payment for all three queries is the same.
1. The injury on your knuckle is likely to be a tendon injury only as your X-rays did not reveal any fracture.This will heal on taking proper rest and mild pain killers like ibuprofen. Please do not worry.
2. For adequate rest to the tendon, you need to keep your injured finger wrapped to its adjacent finger till it is completely healed.
Hot fomentation in the area can enhance the rate of recovery.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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