Etiology, Evaluation, and Management Options for the Stiff Digit

Louis W. Catalano, O. Alton Barron, Steven Z. Glickel, Shobhit V. Minhas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The stiff digit may be a consequence of trauma or surgery to the hand and fingers and can markedly affect a patient's level of function and quality of life. Stiffness and contractures may be caused by one or a combination of factors including joint, intrinsic, extensor, and flexor tendon pathology, and the patient's individual biology. A thorough understanding of the anatomy, function, and relationship of these structures on finger joint range of motion is crucial for interpreting physical examination findings and preoperative planning. For most cases, nonsurgical management is the initial step and consists of hand therapy, static and dynamic splinting, and/or serial casting, whereas surgical management is considered for those with more extensive contractures or for those that fail to improve with conservative management. Assuming no bony block to motion, surgery consists of open joint release, tenolysis of flexor and/or extensor tendons, and external fixation devices. Outcomes after treatment vary depending on the joint involved along with the severity of contracture and the patient's compliance with formal hand therapy and a home exercise program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e676-e684
JournalThe Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Volume27
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

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Contracture
Splints
Hand
Joints
Tendons
Finger Joint
External Fixators
Case Management
Patient Compliance
Articular Range of Motion
Fingers
Physical Examination
Anatomy
Quality of Life
Exercise
Pathology
Wounds and Injuries
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this

Etiology, Evaluation, and Management Options for the Stiff Digit. / Catalano, Louis W.; Barron, O. Alton; Glickel, Steven Z.; Minhas, Shobhit V.

In: The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Vol. 27, No. 15, 01.08.2019, p. e676-e684.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Catalano, Louis W. ; Barron, O. Alton ; Glickel, Steven Z. ; Minhas, Shobhit V. / Etiology, Evaluation, and Management Options for the Stiff Digit. In: The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 2019 ; Vol. 27, No. 15. pp. e676-e684.
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