Weird Knuckle Pain
February 10, 2010 12:38 PM   Subscribe

YANMD but what is up with this finger?

I'm a lifetime, habitual knuckle cracker. A few months ago, I was loafing on the couch with my kids and one of them grabbed my middle finger and pulled it a way it did not want to go. The pain was immediate, a definite ouch...probably louder than that but...

Ever since, the knuckle that is nearest to the palm has been crazy sensitive, as if any movement even slightly in the wrong direction and the knuckle said "uh-uh boy, you definitely don't want to do that." As if the finger would truly break, if I dared to crack that knuckle or even slightly pulled it sideways.

Then just a minute ago, I accidentally cracked that knuckle. It hurt like a sonofagun. Now it feels perfectly normal, as if nothing ever happened. No sensitivity, no pain, nada.

What was wrong with it all that time?
posted by rahnefan to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Possible finger dislocation.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:40 PM on February 10, 2010

You should read the wiki on cracking joints. There is not yet a solid consensus on the mechanism of joint cracking, but the most likely one is that the act of cracking knuckles releases gases from the synovial fluid in joints causing discharge cavitation. Cavitation is generally a bad thing because it causes damage via shock waves associated with it. My (IANAD) guess is that your chronic knuckle cracking is creating a weakened joint and you and your kids may have collectively dislocated and then re-located your finger.
posted by surfgator at 12:51 PM on February 10, 2010

I think you might have dislocated your finger and then relocated it, as Burhanistan says. That or perhaps maybe you had some kind of baker's cyst (hand-related cysts are apparently synovial cysts). They hurt like a sumbitch for x amount of time but all of a sudden everything's fine. Far as I can tell, they're basically, yes, cysts, that appear in joints. One day a certain type of movement ruptures them and it's like exploding a boil inside your bones.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:03 PM on February 10, 2010

Thank you.
posted by rahnefan at 4:25 AM on February 11, 2010

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