What Causes Pain in Little Finger, Swelling, and Redness?


Fingers are easily injured or broken because they are heavily involved in everyday activities. Science indicates that they are at a higher risk than any other parts of the body for traumatic pain, including sports injury, workplace injury and other accidents or infections.

Little Finger Joint Pain

Little finger joint pain can be caused by disease or injury that affects any of the structures of the fingers (bones, muscles, joints, tendons, blood vessels and connective tissues).

The knuckles are joints formed by the bones of the fingers and are commonly injured or dislocated with finger trauma:

1. The largest knuckle is the joint between the hand and fingers. The metacarpophalangeal joint (MCP) is commonly injured in closed-fist activities such as boxing (boxes fracture).

2. The next knuckle that can be easily injured is the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP). This finger joint may be dislocated during sporting events when a ball or other object directly strikes the finger.

3. Injury to the farthest joint of the finger, the distal interphalangeal joint (DIP) usually results from fracture or torn tendons in the finger.

Finger joint pain may also occur in patients with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation that occurs in the joints of the finger bones. This can sometimes cause swelling, redness, and warmth in the joints when touched.

1. Trauma to the fingers which includes falls, twisting injuries, car accidents, fights, sports injuries, dislocations, fractures, and bruises all result in finger pain.

2. Overuse or Stress Fractures (usually in athletes) because of repetitive actions can also lead to little finger joint pain.

3. Ligament Sprains can also cause pain and bruises. This can occur when the bones are extended beyond their normal range of motion.

4. Autoimmune and Other Medical Disorders:

  • Lupus and its symptoms can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness in the joints.
  • Gout, a form of arthritis caused by buildup of uric acid in the blood. Symptoms of gout include a sudden onset of severe pain in the joints. When the joints become inflamed, they are usually painful, swollen and tender to the touch.
  • Gout Info

  • Polyarthritis, the inflammation of more than one joint resulting from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, etc. results in chronic joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and tenderness.
  • Adult Still’s Disease, an autoimmune disorder which attacks healthy cells and joint tissues, can cause pain and swelling in joints.
  • Septic Arthritis can be caused by a bacterial infection. It can also be caused by open skin wounds joint surgeries, or osteomyelitis that result in pain that increases with movement, as well as swelling, redness, and tenderness in the affected area.
  • Tumors of the structures in the fingers as well as infection of the skin or little tissues of the fingers are rare but can also cause finger pain.

Causes of Little Finger Pain

There a quite a few causes of Little finger joint pain, these include:

1. Kirner Deformity. This is characterized by the curving of the little finger towards the palm and the thumb. It can be caused by frostbite, fractures, infection of the bone of the little finger or it can be congenital (occurring at birth).

2. Mallet Finger is an injury to the thin tendon that straightens the end of a finger or thumb. This can also occur when an object like a ball strikes the tips of the finger or thumb and forces it to bend further than it normally should.

3. Glomus Tumor is a lesion found growing under the nail. It is very painful, and sensitive to pressure or exposure to cold.

4. Paronychia is an infection of the skin around the fingernails. It can be caused by a bacterial or yeast infection (candida). Symptoms include swelling, redness, or collection of pus in the infected area.

5. Felon Infection is marked by an abscess in the fingertip. This is usually caused by a bacterial infection, but a herpes virus (herpes whitlow), and sometimes fungi can also cause felons. It is very painful as it expands.

6. Trigger Finger occurs when inflammation narrow the space between the sheath of that surrounds the tendons in the affected finger.

7. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve in the hand. It can also come from swelling that occurs in rheumatoid arthritis, diabetic nerve neuropathy, or hypothyroidism. It causes tingling, swelling, numbness and weakness in the fingers and hands.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Little Finger Swelling

Little finger swelling can have its roots in a number of underlying conditions. These may include:

1. Cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the skin that causes redness, swelling, and tenderness.

2. Vitamin B12 Deficiency can also cause symptoms of swelling, as well as numbness and weakness in the joints.

3. Gout, the buildup of uric acid in the joints also result in swollen, red, painful joints.

4. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (medial nerve injury) causes swelling, pain, and numbness if injured.

5. Peripheral Neuropathy (nerve trauma) results in swelling, tingling, and numbness, especially in diabetic patients (diabetic neuropathy).

6. Osteomyelitis, an infection of a bone, also causes swelling, pain, and redness.

7. Tetany is a mineral imbalance causing swelling, twitching and muscle cramps in the hands and feet.

8. Finger Injuries, insect bites, juvenile and rheumatoid arthritis, frostbite, abscesses, burns, and blisters all result in swelling.

9. Ulnar Nerve Injury damage can cause swelling, pain, and numbness.

Little Finger Redness

Redness in the little finger occurs in patients affected by conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis cellulitis, herpes whitlow, felon infection, gout, and osteoarthritis. Redness can also occur from wearing a ring that may be too tight.


The fingers are involved in every major day to day activity that involves the use of the hands. Hence, they are more vulnerable than any other area of the body to injury, trauma, redness, swelling and chronic pain associated with medical disorders, sporting and workplace injuries, and infections.