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Hand swelling Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Hand swelling. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you had the hand swelling?

    Why: to determine if acute of chronic.

  2. Where exactly is the hand swollen?

    Why: determine if swelling is localized or generalized, if it involves the joints of the hand or soft tissue.

  3. Is the hand swelling unilateral or bilateral?
  4. History of hand trauma?

    Why: may suggest soft tissue injury or fracture.

  5. Are you pregnant?

    Why: may suggest the generalized swelling that may occur in pregnancy or preeclampsia.

  6. Has there been recent diarrhea?

    Why: may suggest haemolytic uraemic syndrome.

  7. Past history of arthritis?

    Why: e.g. osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout.

  8. Past medical history?

    Why: e.g. systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, kidney disease, hypothyroidism, Acromegaly.

  9. Past surgical history?

    Why: e.g. Axillary clearance of lymph nodes due to breast cancer may result in arm and hand lymphoedema (swelling) especially if axillary radiotherapy is also given.

  10. Medications?

    Why: e.g. exposure to some medications may cause nephrotic syndrome such as penicillin or gold.

  11. Allergies?

    Why: e.g. reactions to many allergens such as poison ivy, pollens, bee stings and cows milk may be associated with nephrotic syndrome.

  12. Family history?

    Why: e.g. people with nephrotic syndrome may have a family history of allergy or kidney disease.

  13. Occupational history?

    Why: certain occupations requiring repetitive motions are at risk of causing work-induced overuse disorders e.g. process and meat workers are at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome due to rapid finger and wrist movement; manual labour causes muscular growth of the hands.

  14. Travel history?

    Why: e.g. African trypanosomiasis follows the bite of the tsetse fly which may be found in West and Central Africa and may cause hand swelling.

  15. Joint pain in other parts of the body?

    Why: may suggest osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus erythematosus, psoriatic arthritis.

  16. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

    Why: e.g. paresthesia or "pins and needles" affecting the pulps of the thumb, index , middle and half of the ring finger. These symptoms are usually noticed after, rather than during, rapid use of the hands. There may also be pain, which may radiate up as far as the shoulder, from the inside of the wrist.

  17. Symptoms of preeclampsia?

    Why: e.g. nausea, headache, swelling of hands and feet, flashing lights in vision, right upper abdominal pain.

  18. Symptoms of nephrotic syndrome?

    Why: e.g. frothy urine, swelling of feet, hands, abdomen, face and sometimes genitals.

  19. Symptoms of hemolytic uraemic syndrome?

    Why: e.g. disorder of infancy or childhood that usually follows a febrile illness, especially gastroenteritis or an upper respiratory tract infection. Symptoms include skin pallor, reduced urine output and swelling.

  20. Symptoms of scleroderma?

    Why: e.g. thickening of the skin, swelling of the hands, tightening of the skin of the fingers leading to tapering, difficulty with swallowing, Raynaud's phenomenon, palpable nodules due to calcium deposition in the soft tissue of the fingers.

  21. Symptoms of hypothyroidism?

    Why: e.g. husky voice, tiredness, weight gain, constipation, cold intolerance, loss of hair, puffy face and eyes, carpal tunnel syndrome.

  22. Symptoms of axillary vein thrombosis?

    Why: e.g. swelling of the entire upper arm and hand, aching sensation with a feeling of tightness, often most sever in the axilla, arm and hand may be blue in colour, visible distended veins over the shoulder and front of the chest.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Hand swelling:

The following list of conditions have 'Hand swelling' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Hand swelling or choose View All.

View All A B C E G H I J L M N O P R S T W Y

Conditions listing medical complications: Hand swelling:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Hand swelling' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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