There are many different causes that may lead to the deformation of one or more fingers: trauma, dislocation, the formation of a malunion after a fracture treatment. In the absence of trauma, certain other conditions can cause deformities of the fingers. "Clubbing" is a deformation of the fingers, causing them to appear swollen, a disorder that results from many diseases including chronic respiratory insufficiency. This is also the case of digital osteoarthritis, which results from a degeneration of the finger joints. There are different types of digital osteoarthritis that cause various deformities. Osteoarthritis can affect the joints between the last two phalanges, especially in elderly women, sometimes with the appearance of small hard lumps called Heberden nodules. Bouchard's nodules are similar to Heberden's nodules, but affect the spacing between the first two phalanges and are much rarer. Osteoarthritis of the thumb is, in turn, often disabling.
Symptoms of digital osteoarthritis are:
- nodules and rounded projections of the finger joints;
- inflammatory pain;
- difficulty of movement;
- numbness in the fingertips;
- deformations of the fingers.
Observation and physical examination of the hands are generally sufficient to establish a diagnosis of digital osteoarthritis. Radiography provides more detailed deformation.
The treatment of digital osteoarthritis is to relieve pain, prevent distortion and maintain a good mobility of the fingers. Medical treatment consists of the use of anti-inflammatories, splints or corticosteroid injections.
Original article published by
. Translated by Jeff