I too have been experiencing discomfort in my right thumb knuckle for a few months now. I initially thought it was caused by using a mouse, but now I'm not so sure. It's very stiff and when I extend it, the knuckle "pops" or sometimes "snaps into an extended position. When I retract it to a folded or curled position, it again snaps. After the snapped "detent", it moves smoothly. It's weird. But yesterday, I was painting a porch holding a brush and it seemed to feel much better and moved more smoothly. However this morning when I woke up, it was stiff and "stuck". I couldn't get it to extend fully untill after I was awake for about a half hour. Can tape or a splint help? Should I see a hand specialists? Is this serious? I'm 56 and beginning to accept some aches, pains and tiredness, but this I think isn't parr for the course.
Hi. I'm Jenny and have long term osteoarthritis and rheumatoid so if it affects a joint, I've probably had it.
In that joint, it could be anything from a bone spur in the joint catching as you move or more likely, an inflamed tendon that is catching and stopping the movement. It would get worse after a day of doing something that involved that thumb. And they make snapping sounds and feel like a rubber band that is too tight and it suddenly snaps and the thumb moves.
You can try splinting it for a few days and see if it helps. You can buy a splint or you can just wrap some adhesive tape around the joint to keep it from moving.
If it keeps up or gets worse, then see your doc and start with an x-ray to see if you have bone spurs. You could see a hand ortho or you could see a rheumatologist(arthritis specialist) but many primary care docs will inject a thumb, joint or tendon...ask. That would be the next step.
Thumbs can turn into a chronic problem so get on top of it and keep being aware of it. Real easy to carry a BandAid to wrap around it if it starts to hurt....instant splint. I use them all the time and carry them in my pockets.
Thanks Jenny. You're probably right by eventually going to my doctor for further evaluation and treatment. However after reading for about this subject, I've wrapped my thumb knuckle with tape and am trying to avoid using it for a few days to see how if feels first.