Bumps on finger joints may hint at knee problems

Research we're watching

Published: April, 2019

If you have an arthritis-related condition called Heberden's nodes, you may be at higher risk for arthritis-related knee problems, according to a study published online January 9 by Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Heberden's nodes develop when cartilage in the fingers wears away, causing the bones to rub against one another. This prompts new bone to form, creating bony nodules in the knuckles closest to the fingertips.

Researchers studied 575 people, 395 with Heberden's nodes and 188 without. After performing physical exams to look for Heberden's nodes, researchers then did MRI scans of participants' knees. They found that people who had the nodes on their fingers were more likely to show evidence of arthritis-related knee damage that was worse at a follow-up scan 24 months later.

Image: © Wavebreakmedia/Thinkstock

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.