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Dr Basu
Dr Basu, Experienced Specialist
Category: Medical
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Experience:  MD
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sudden onset of swelling in fingers on left hand, no injury,

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sudden onset of swelling in fingers on left hand, no injury, bug bites or known allergies, symptoms have persisted for 48 hours. Symptoms began with some arthritis like stiffness, minor pain in ring finger and then over 2 or 3 hours swelling began. Ring finger is most swollen can't get wedding ring off. Should I go to the emergency room or wait it out until I can see a doctor in office? I took ibuprofen last night. No change


Thanks for your question.

I do understand your concern due to the sudden onset of your swelling.

Since, you also have stiffness & more pronounced in ring finger it does seem to be related to inflammatory process likely arthritis conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, or other connective tissue disorders.

In the absence of any weakness of the hand, this unlikely related to nerves or blood vessels.

You should take 800mg ibuprofen 3 times a day with food for next 48 hours.

If there are no other additional symptoms, then the swelling should improve with time.

Also use cold ice pack to reduce the swelling over fingers for atleast 5 minutes 2 to 3 times a day.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks. If after taking the iburprofen, and icing for 48 hoursand swelling hasn't decreased or has increased should I have it looked at? Also, can using the hand make it worse? I have to work tomorrow which involves lifting and using my hands.

Yes, if it does not go down in next 48 hours, then you should see your doctor.

It is better to avoid lifting with your left hand till the swelling goes away.


Good luck,

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