pain in finger joint- help

hi i am new here. i have have intermittement pain/stiffness in joint of left hand finger. however unlike previous occassions it has not gone. it been playing up for many weeks. it was making a nasty grting sound and the gp sent me for an x ray-all normal. however although it is less grting it is very stiff on a morning , eases a little then becames sore again in the evening. it is not red or mega swollen but i can no longer get weddding ring over the knuckle joint. i have some form of connective tissue disorder and secondary fibromyalgia. however this feel s different. i take low dose steroid daily and have mild osteopinia in back/pelvic. i am 36. any idea s please. i am guessing it s not arthiritus as it s not red and x ray clear

11 Replies

  • Hiya what you are describing is how my probs started...sorry :( . I also had pain in my feet but my fingers were exactly how you are describing ....they now are much better as on methotrexate and have been for 10 weeks but still at times can flare up and hurt...just before my diagnosis of RA I had x rays and they were also ok, luckily there was no damage this is because it was caught early and although my fingers, knees etc got very painful they were never red and only very slightly swollen....but my diagnosis was still RA ....I hope you havnt got this but if you have it is obviously very early days and there really is so much they can do now especially went caught early... Good luck Claire x

  • Sorry to add bug mine started exactly the same way. Xrays showed up fine too.

    Hope you get some answers soon.


  • Hello moss and welcome.

    Is your pain in just the one joint of the one finger? If so, and if it hasn't progressed over many weeks, I'm thinking that it's unlikely to be the start of rheumatoid arthritis because ra usually affects more than one joint at the same time. Given the grating sound you describe it does sound as if it is actually damaged in some way and if the x-ray is clear, I wonder if the GP would consider sending you for a scan on which would show the tendons and muscles as well as the joint itself. Or maybe he would refer you to an orthopaedic consultant for a specialist opinion. You say it's not red but it may not be, even it is inflamed if you already take steroids. It could be part of your connective tissue disorder maybe?

    I really do hope you find an answer soon and can get your wedding ring back on.


  • yes it is in one finger. i have also had some discomfort running down the side of my thumb. maybe it s not artheritus after all-i was not aware that it effects more than one joint at a time

  • Hello again.

    Some "arthritises" affect single joints, but Rheumatoid Arthritis, being an inflammatory disease affects multiple joints simultaneously. If it was osteoarthritis I am pretty sure that would have shown up on your xray since, in osteoarthritis it is damage to the joints which causes the pain. Really hope you get to the bottom of it soon.

    Tilly x

  • Hi there - that's also how my R.A started - Rhuemy factor was also showing low for ages but now I'm full blown R.A. Get on it straight away and on meds asap.

  • seen dr. said it wa swollen but given i am already on steroids and anti-inf did not want to add to meds. he was not sure if start of arthiritus or soft tissue issue. gave me some cream

  • Ditto....exactly how mine started along with my knees...I've been told I've got RA in the middle joints of my fingers and knuckles and also OA in the top joint of my fingers...the little ones are the worse, they're already starting to look deformed....

  • Hi Moss

    As Tilly points out there are many different types of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an auto-immune disease and tends to affect multiple joints, often symmetrically. Typically the joints are painful, swollen and stiff in the mornings for longer than 30 minutes. The anti-TNFs that you mention are a common treatment for RA. Osteoarthritis (OA), often just referred to as 'arthritis', is the most common form and this is the 'wear-and-tear' form of arthritis where the bones of the joint start to rub together. It would be worth discussing with your GP which type of arthritis he was referring to as the treatments are very different.

    I hope this helps to explain things a little. Arthritis Research UK have a lot of good information about all the different types of arthritis if you wanted to read more:

    Kind regards

    Sarah Kate


  • Hi yall,

    I have pain in my hips,lower back, both hands, knees and feet just got my test results back and my x-rays for my lumbar was clear besides a Slight dextrocurvature of the lumbar spine and a 2.7 mm calcific structure overlying the right renal shadow, suggestive of right renal calculus (kidney stone) hand xray were clear, but my hands will hurt so bad I can barely use them. I had carpal tunnel surgery 2 years ago. I also had a neg. Ra antibody test but my sed rate and c r protein were both pretty high. suggesting imflammation. Can you have ra with a negative antibody test?

  • By the way I also have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis in my feet and neck

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