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Bones - pain in hand

Q: Just beneath the little finger finger on my right hand there is severe pain. I took an X-Ray and the doctors said that there was an unknown particle in between the little finger and the ring finger. They also said that it could be a blood clot that has calcified and is causing problems. My hand is swollen. Now, the doctors say that the only option is operating and pulling out the particle. I am scared. Is there any other way of destroying the particle instead of an operation. Please help!

A:You have not mentioned in your letter anything about how your pain started. Did it start after an injury? Is there any history of any foreign body entering your hand? Did you have a wound on your hand? If the answer to all these questions are negative then diagnosis other than a foreign body has to be considered. These could be calcification in blood vessels or other soft tissues. Calcification in blood vessels (called phleboliths) occurs in what are known as haemangiomas. These are swellings that arise from blood vessels and can only be diagnosed by clinical examination or by an examination of blood vessels after injecting a dye (called angiography). These days the same thing can be done by an MRI (MR Angiography). MR may also help identify some of the rarer causes.
So, you need to answer some of these questions before I can recommend any surgical intervention. I would suggest, do not go in for surgery unless it is very clear that it is a foreign body. If it is indeed a foreign body then surgery may be the only option. I do not think you need to be scared of such a surgery if you chose a competent surgeon and a good hospital for the procedure. Do discuss with your treating surgeon before you decide.

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