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A female asked:

What does it mean if my joints swell up unexpectedly about every month or so? my middle finger on my right hand swell up and makes it impossible to even bend or use my finger at all. then the swelling moves over to my wrist on the same hand and sometimes

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alec Moorman
Cardiology 22 years experience
If : If the joints are actually swelling, this is a sure sign of arthritis, which is inflammation of the joint space. Joint pain without swelling is called arthralgia, but commonly miscalled arthritis. There are several types of arthritides, and you should be examined by an internist and possibly referred to a rheumatologist. Depending on your age, risk factors, and the pattern of joints involved, your doctor can most likely come up with an accurate diagnosis and figure out the best way to treat you. Some arthritides are simply caused by wear and tear (osteoarthritis), but others are caused by disorders of the immune system (e.g. Rheumatoid arthritis), crystal deposition (e.g. Gout), or sometimes they are triggered by infections (reactive arthritis, or reiter's syndrome).
Dr. David Schleimer
A Verified Doctoranswered
39 years experience
MD visit: Though the interval timing confuses me a little, i would send you to your pcp and be tested for arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis. Your md with tests should help you gain information and hopefully relief. Good luck!

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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