Case study ( 5792 views as of February 7, 2023 )
Steve is a 55-year-old man who presents to his family doctor with symptoms of pain and catching to his left long finger that started two weeks ago. The symptoms started after a weekend of using a pressure washer. He initially developed some pain at the palmar base (knuckles) of his long finger. Currently, Steve describes locking of his finger in a flexed position in the morning when he wakes up. He has to manually unlock the finger to straighten it. Within fifteen minutes of awakening the locking does appear to subside.
Physical examination reveals full range of motion to his digits. He does have some localized tenderness about the palmar base of his long finger along with a small nodule along the flexor tendon (the tendon that allows the finger to curl).
Steve could potentially benefit from seeing a physiotherapist for mobilization of the joint, an orthopedic surgeon to assess if surgery is necessary, and his local pharmacist for pain control medications. A bracing specialist may also be able to help with joint stabilization which may help him in his daily activities. Lastly, seeing a nutritionist may help Steve choose foods that help reduce inflammation caused by arthritis.Author: Dr. Bertrand Perey