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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 5660
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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There is a bump on the middle finger of my partner’s left

Customer Question

There is a bump on the middle finger of my partner’s left hand. It’s on the palm side of the upper part of the middle phalanx, and it is about .5 inches long. It has been the same size for the entire time. It is not painful and it does not any way impair movement / flexibility of the finger.
The bump has been there for over 6 months now. There may or may not have been some specific incident that caused the swelling. If there was, we simply don’t remember what it would have been. He does play basketball several times a week, but he is right-handed and doesn’t recall any incident that might have caused the swelling to appear.
His GP initially thought it was a cyst and that it might be possible to drain it. But it feels harder than a drainable cyst would and a subsequent X-ray only showed inflammation.
Both his GP and the two radiographers who looked at it were puzzled and said they did not really know what it was or what could have caused it. They said it might be possible to surgically remove it but that they would advice against such a procedure because it’s risky and because the swelling is not painful and does not impair any movement.
They did not know of any other way of making the swelling go away and they advised to just leave it as it is and to keep an eye on it, see if it gets bigger or otherwise changes
So far nothing has changed. The swelling looks the same as before. But a new swelling appeared, pretty much in the palm of his left hand (if you were to draw a line extending his middle finger to the palm, the new bump would be on that line).
The new swelling is a bit smaller than the one on his finger. And my partner thinks that it appeared shortly after he was carrying some heavy luggage up the stairs, and so that there may have been a direct external cause of the swelling. He is not sure of this, however.
Do you have ideas about the nature of the swellings, what may have caused them and what may help get rid of them?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.

Hi. Was he screened for rheumatoid arthritis? And what exactly did you mean by the x-ray showing inflammation?