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Author Topic: Cracking knuckles makes them bigger (personal experience)
Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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About two weeks ago, in a hard-to-explain accident involving a rambunctious dog, I wound up smashing my right index finger straight down onto a concrete floor. My finger collided perpendicular to the floor and for several days it was swollen about three times its normal size, and was purple and bruised for a few days more. A trip to a walk-in clinic confirmed nothing was broken (I'd already figured that) but I wore it in a split for a few days and soaked it in ice water whenever possible.

Although the bruising has completely gone and I can fully move my finger with no pain, it's still slightly thick around my knuckle area. All of my other fingers are long and skinny with squarish knuckles, but since this accident my index finger is kind of stumpy-looking around the knuckle area, and the knuckle itself looks like a squished, horizontal rectangle.

I never thought about it being a problem until this morning when I went to put a ring on my finger. None of my rings will fit on that finger now, even the large ones. The knuckles on my index fingers have always been a little big, but I'm worried now that I somehow permanently damaged my knuckle and that it won't return to its original size. I had always heard that cracking one's knuckles makes them larger, but I thought that was a myth. Now I'm not so sure. I didn't just crack it, I completely smashed it into a concrete floor, and it took all of the impact. At the clinic they told me it was just a nasty bruise that would eventually go away, but I didn't ask them anything about the knuckle.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar? Did your fingers permanantly change shape? Do I have to buy size 9 rings for this finger from now on? I'm not normally a worrywart, but my fingers are normally very long and slender, and I don't want to be stuck with a misshapen stumpy-looking one for the rest of my life.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
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Posts: 8254 | From: Florida | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Fowlplay
The First USA Noel


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I don't think you've 'cracked' your knuckle. It sounds like you have 'jammed' your finger. I did it to my thumb about a year ago, and it felt like it was broke. It also took several weeks to get completely back into shape. The worst of it was over in about two weeks, but it wasn't really right for about six or so weeks and it stayed slightly swollen for most of that time. It can take some time for a joint to heal (especially one you use that frequently and can't really be too imobile.)

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"Sometimes it will be fluffy bunnies and cotton candy. Sometimes it will be napalm and defoliants. Sometimes it is roasted bunnies." -Rhiandmoi

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ranran yousei
The Red and the Green Stamps


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If you're concerned with it, I'd have it looked at, just to make sure it's healing properly.

Jamming or spraining the knuckle can make it larger for a while - a long while. I jammed my middle finger in sixth grade on a tetherball, took a while (I forget exactly how long, but I remember thinking it took forever), but the knuckle finally went back to normal (although, I swear the finger isn't as long as it should be. all my left fingers are a hair smaller in length than my right ones, except that one finger).


I crack several of my fingers, but not all, as some just won't crack. My knuckles are no different in size, whether cracked or not. Well, proportionally, since, on the whole, my right hand is bigger by a slight amount.

Example: right pinky gets a cracking, left does not. They are both the same.

Example #2: left ring finger gets cracked, right one does not. Again, both the same size.


Now, I am not one to pull the fingers to crack them. I was always told that that was the "bad" cracking, and could damage them.

If it means anything, my ring fingers wear about a size 4, loosely. Index fingers are about a 6. Just pointing out, I don't have thick fingers or knuckles (none of my rings have trouble with getting over the knuckles).

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mrs.hi-c clown fishies
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I agree, it does sound like you jammed your finger. Just because a bone isn't broken doesn't mean it isn't damaged in some way or another. If I'm not mistaken, it's possible to bruise the bone, and that can take a long time to heal.

I wouldn't worry about a deformed finger, though. My cousin was doing some car work about 6 months before his wedding, and ended up clipping off the tip of his left index finger. It really isn't that noticable, unless your looking at both of his hands at the same time. [Smile]

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Jumbo70
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I used to jam my fingers all the time when I played football and would have exactly the same problem you are having with my ring. Sometimes I wouldn't be able to fit my ring back on my finger until months after the season ended, but there was no permanent damage.

So are you reassured now, or more horrified? [Razz]

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Arrow-Tech IV
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Cervus, I'm really glad that you brought this up. Ironically (given the Cirque clown lawsuit), I fell down the stairs at a Cirque de Soleil performance and injured the joint at the base of my right thumb. The injury was completely my own fault -- it was dark and the steps were different sizes. I tripped.

Anyway, the injury occurred in October. I thought that the thumb was broken and had it checked immediately -- no break. I had pain, but full range of motion.

I waited for 2 1/2 months for the swelling to go down and took it back in to have it x-rayed. Apparently, the bones are perfect. The doctor told me to wait a little longer.

The swelling eventually went MOST of the way down, but the joint is now large and squared-off, the same way that Cervus described. The joint itself cracks about ten times a day and is stiff until I crack it. Yesterday, a high humidity day, it just ached.

Is there a doctor on the board who can explain how this works?

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Arrow-Tech IV
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Okay -- if not a doctor -- then anyone with an idea why you get the multiple cracking problem?
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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Thanks for the stories. I do feel better, since this only happened about two weeks ago. Since there's no pain, cracking sounds, or stiffness when I move it, I'm just going to assume it's healing properly but going to take a long time to return to normal.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Dondi
The First USA Noel


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What about the rumour that cracking knuckles leads to arthritis? Has anyone heard of this before?

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"It won't mean a thing in a hundred years." - John Popper

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Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


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It's been debunked Dondi long ago. It was a wide misconception spreaded down the drainpipe and the WebMD has enclosed information that provide actual details on what happens. Worst you'll get is stiffened fingers when you hit an older age.

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Joseph Z

Posts: 1356 | From: Woodbridge, VA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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