Finger lumps and bumps
What are they?
Lumps and bumps on the sides of finger joints that are hard and bony are usually associated with osteoarthritis.

They are called either Bouchard nodes or Heberden nodes depending on the small joints affected and are common in elder groups, especially in women.

The nodules are caused by bone overgrowth spilling over the edge of the joint triggered by the joint surfaces rubbing over time. They can appear on one or both sides of the joint and can give the finger a twisted or crooked appearance

They are not always painful but can cause distress due to the changed appearance of the hands. Pain is usually worse following activity, especially on colder days. Some people also describe a stinging pain lasting months before a nodule appears.

Eventually the joint can become fused and twisted causing difficulty with most fine finger movements such as picking up change, opening jars and bottles and chopping food.
Finger lumps and bumps
How is it Diagnosed?
Generally it is possible to tell from the appearance of the nodes and by feeling the texture of the nodes if they are likely to be caused by Osteoarthritis.

An X-ray can confirm the diagnosis. The formation of extra bone inside the finger joints can be seen clearly. This over growth of bone is called osteophyte formation and unfortunately there is no known treatment to remove them, except surgically.

Blood tests are not normally required but may be requested to rule out other conditions.
Finger lumps and bumps
What is the treatment?
In most cases more than one finger is affected so treatment is usually aimed at reducing pain and stiffness in the whole hand. As the condition progresses over time, learning how to prevent straining the joints during activities is very important in terms of reducing pain and deformity.

Wax baths are very helpful at reducing pain and have the bonus of improving circulation to the hands and fingers.

Occasionally applying stretchy tape to the affected joints to compress them or wearing special arthritis gloves will help to relieve pain and keep the joints warm for longer.

Nodes are very sore if they are accidentally knocked so wearing small silicone finger sleeves can protect them during work or other activities 
Finger lumps and bumps
Treatment at Hand Kinetics
Hand Kinetics therapists specialise in Joint Protection Techniques. This enables you to learn how to carry on doing every day activities in a way that aims to limit pain and stress on the small finger joints. 

Silicon finger sleeves and small finger splints may also be prescribed to help protect the bumps from injury or from deforming positions.

Using a wax bath regularly will help to improve circulation and reduce hand stiffness so finger joints have a good blood supply to stay healthy.

Hand Kinetics Telephone: 0044 28 417 72301

15 The Avenue, Burren, Warrenpoint. Co. Down. BT34 3XJ

0044 28 4176 7238
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