Lumps on finger joints: I’ve noticed lumps appearing on... - NRAS


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Lumps on finger joints

Sunnyseas profile image

I’ve noticed lumps appearing on my finger joints, three fingers affected, which are quite uncomfortable. Thumb, middle & small, middle joint. Does this sound like RA or osteo? Feels like bone more than a swelling.

I’m worried this may get worse & cause even more hand symptoms. I’m a scientist & use my hands quite a bit at work but think that may need to change sooner than I’d thought. I’m doing less at home so that I can keep working. Its hard not to feel like you’re losing control. I’ve recently started Leflunomide, perhaps the tiredness from this med is getting me down a bit as well, but thought I’d reach out, ss.

13 Replies

I get these too. I'll be interested for any answers. I recently broke a finger and had to go for finger therapy. They suggested I asked to see the therapist who deals with rheumatoid arthritis because my hands are shocking, so I asked my consultant who has said that's ok. I now have an appointment in July!

Knip profile image
Knip in reply to Moomin8

Might be Rheumatoid nodules.

Moomin8 profile image
Moomin8 in reply to Knip

Probably 🤷🏻‍♀️

Hi i was told by my rheumatologist that the lumps and damage i have on my middle joints are caused by RA and the damage on the top joints are caused by Osteo as he said that RA only affects...

Good morning. If you would like support, information or just someone to talk to, our NRAS helpline is open every week day from 9.30am to 4.30pm 0800 298 7650. Or have a look at our website Kind regards.

Lumpy bits around the joints do seem to be quite common! Yes they can get in the way of full functioning, but keep doing your hands exercises frequently to keep as much movement as possible. It's a good idea to find plenty of aids to reduce the strain on your hands too and you would find it helpful to see an occupational therapist. I learnt a lot about how to use my body to avoid putting so much strain on my hands and she was able to suggest lots of aids that would help as well.

Sunnyseas profile image
Sunnyseas in reply to oldtimer

Thanks Oldtimer for some helpful ideas. Ive not yet had any help/guidance with hand exercises so an occupational therapist is a good option.

To be properly sure your Rheumy should be able to distinguish what they are exactly. My 'bump's are Heberden's nodes (DIP joints, nearest the nail) & Bouchard's nodes (PIP joints, middle one), both OA related. I can no longer bend the thumbs & fingers at the joints affected by Heberden’s, no cartilage left. Joint replacement has been the option given me although in some instances, rarely, they can remove the nodes, not for me though unfortunately. When they're uncomfortably painful I was advised to use a topical NSAID (diclofenac 2.32%) in addition to my daily etoricoxib, though I'm not suggesting you do this if you take a daily NSAID too as it's not generally advised to do so, seek advice on that, a Pharmacist should be able to help.

Hand therapy given by Occupational Therapy helped early on, as did splints, but they're too advanced now for any relief from either. Do ask if you can be referred though when you see your Rheumy next whether they be R nodules or otherwise if they're causing you pain & issues with use.

Moomin8 profile image
Moomin8 in reply to nomoreheels

I too can't bend my thumbs anymore. I can only bend 4 fingers...and they get locked.

nomoreheels profile image
nomoreheels in reply to Moomin8

Oh, I’m sorry. It can be awkward at times can't it but we adapt don't we, we have to!

I have these nodules on both sides of the knuckles of the joints nearest to the nails on all but my ring fingers. I have been told by several rhuematologists, doctors and nurses that they are caused by OA and that nothing can be done about them. I use my fingers a lot, on the computer, crafting, playing guitar and piano and I think that keeps them moving.

Hi Sunnyseas (lovely name :) ) I am on Methotrexate and leflunomide. I haven't noticed a significant change in my tiredness since starting the leflunomide, I was tired before, although to be honest it doesn't seem to be helping much either, I feel as though I am taking it for the sake of the Rhuematology team - to keep them happy. Check the side effects though - either on the leaflet or online. I know medication can affect people differently, so it might be worth checking.

Just to chip in, I had some little bumps on my thumb joints last year during a flare. I started in imraldi and they disappeared so you may well not get stuck with them with any luck.

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