Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Crushing pain in my thumb

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 4 Replies
  • Posted By: jamieren
  • September 11, 2008
  • 11:19 AM

Here I sit at 4:30 a.m. with my thumb aching. I've been to see a doctor, but he has a reputation for "pill pushing". I've not noticed that before, but I spend very little time in front of doctors unless it is a serious condition and wouldn't know from experience. The pain is centralized in the second joint and extremely tender on the top - that is to say the side nearest side to my index finger. Tuesday night I went to bed (it is now Thursday) and it was a wee bit stiff, nothing too serious I thought. At 6:00 in the morning I awoke with this pain and swelling in my thumb. Even moving it 5 degrees caused excruciating pain.

After spending the entire day "working around it" at work I finally went in to emergency where I saw the doctor who after 1 minute (or less) of examination and prodding (bringing forth a couple of exclamations from me!) he announced "it is synovitis". There is no known cause, and a run of pills will cure it. He prescribed diclofenac sodium coated tablets and proceeded to send me on my way. I ask "Is this a painkiller?" "No, it reduces inflammation, and will reduce pain as it reduces the inflammation." I've noted with some dismay though the instructions read "However, if you have sudden severe pain and desire quick relief, it may be better to use other pain medications that are faster acting." It's at this point I begin to think about the previous night and a bit of randiness with my wife. "Can putting a great deal of sideward pressure cause dislocation or fracture?" "Not unless you're a frail 90 year old man (he notes that I am active and healthy otherwise)". I will note here that I've lifted weights before and bench press hasn't hurt me -I've lifted to my max capacity, though that was years ago...- I'd also note that balancing on my hands doing "pelvic thrusts" may be a little more stressful on the joints. Okay, stop laughing.

At 11:30 last night I took tylenol to alleviate some pain to get me through to morning. Well, that didn't work as here I am. I realize there are generally no instant cures, but shouldn't I feel some nature of difference after taking the medication? If this medication simply treats pain and temporarily takes away swelling, how is that going to solve the problem, aside from buying some pain free time for the body to heal itself? I've been with these symptoms for 36 hours now and would hope for some change...

Any advice would be appreciated.
Jamie

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4 Replies:

  • It is now 18 hours later. Saw another doctor today. Summary of the conversation: "Keep taking your pills. It may take a few days before you see results."I intentionally waited an extra few hours to take the medication so as to get a decent sleep. I'm still waiting (over an hour) for the pain to subside enough to sleep on it. The condition is possibly getting worse?On a positive side I was patient with my kids & wife, I don't think they knew I was suffering much. I'm also learning how much trivial crap we waste our precious time being upset or offended at.I'm almost at an hour and a half. I'm sure the pain was far more comfortable than this in the past...?
    jamieren 5 Replies
    • September 12, 2008
    • 04:47 AM
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  • Don't know if your thumb stil hurts, but as sore as it sounds, you might put a splint on it for a while, just in case you tore a ligament while romping with your wife. That should give you some relief in a while. If so, wear it for a few days.
    marionstar 228 Replies
    • September 16, 2008
    • 02:13 AM
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  • It has gradually gotten better, but is still cranky if I test it. I was in to see a physiotherapist today and she suggested that the tendon might be swollen as a result of overextension. I'm beginning to think of the old adage "time heals all wounds". At the outset of this I was quite alarmed at the amount of pain a simple joint can cause. At present it's quite manageable, but still a major inconvenience (with having to avoid using it). I may get a tensor bandage on it now that you mention it. Before it was far too tempermental to even think of it.
    jamieren 5 Replies
    • September 16, 2008
    • 04:00 AM
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  • Glad you're better. A "stretched tendon" sounds reasonabble. Marionstar
    marionstar 228 Replies
    • September 16, 2008
    • 03:30 PM
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