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Injuries and Medical Advice

Fingers: Pinky Finger Pain

I have pain and swelling on the joint at the base of my pinky. The pain is point specific to the palm side. It hurts to bend or straighten. Grasping (steering wheel, ski pole) hurts a lot, seemingly more from contact than bending.

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I have pain and swelling on the joint at the base of my pinky. The pain is point specific to the palm side. It hurts to bend or straighten. Grasping (steering wheel, ski pole) hurts a lot, seemingly more from contact than bending.

Have I avulsed something? I have no recollection of anything sudden. Lingering in my mind was a big sideways deadpoint from a slot-shaped hold about a week ago. There was no immediate pain or irritation. I would climb, notice a bit of soreness the next (rest) day, lather, rinse and repeat. Yesterday I woke up to extreme pain, swelling at that joint, and with the complete inability to make a fist. This all started about a week ago. And now, 36 hours after it peaked, it’s all gone!

Lisa Hathaway | Moab, Utah

That is a strange one, Lisa. I think I would have a better chance at understanding baseball.

An avulsion injury is unlikely. They go off like a U.S. peace-keeping rocket launcher — BANG — sudden detachment, exploding pain and an inability to move.

Tuesday night Fight Club must have been disappointing if you couldn’t make a fist; I’m sure you are still a weapon even with only one bazooka. Clearly, it was transient inflammation of some genre causing the restriction. It smacks of a cyst given the location and evanescent nature, though the particularly sudden resolution is a little odd.

An inflammatory arthritis, neuritis, a sting? I’m clutching at straws here in the vague hope of a needle stick injury.

If I were pressed for a diagnosis I would say appearances are vaguely consistent with a cyst. And since it’s gone I can’t be proven wrong. Perfect.

I wouldn’t worry about it. CLIMB ON! If it returns, procure an ultrasound and x-ray. That’ll be $5,000.

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