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Intrinsic Plus Hand Workup

  • Author: Bradon J Wilhelmi, MD; Chief Editor: Harris Gellman, MD  more...
 
Updated: Jan 21, 2015
 

Imaging Studies

Radiography of the hands should be included as part of the workup for stiff joints. Although radiography is not helpful in diagnosing intrinsic contracture, it may be useful for ruling out other diagnoses or causes of a contracture.

 
 
Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Bradon J Wilhelmi, MD Leonard J Weiner Professor and Chief of Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery Residency Program Director, Hiram C Polk Jr Department of Surgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine

Bradon J Wilhelmi, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Association for Hand Surgery, American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Association for Surgical Education, Plastic Surgery Research Council, American Association of Clinical Anatomists, Wound Healing Society, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Burn Association, American College of Surgeons, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Thomas R Hunt III, MD Professor and Chairman, Joseph Barnhart Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine

Thomas R Hunt III, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Orthopaedic Association, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, Southern Orthopaedic Association, AO Foundation, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Association for Hand Surgery, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Mid-America Orthopaedic Association

Disclosure: Received royalty from Tornier for independent contractor; Received ownership interest from Tornier for none; Received royalty from Lippincott for independent contractor.

Chief Editor

Harris Gellman, MD Consulting Surgeon, Broward Hand Center; Voluntary Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Plastic Surgery, Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Surgery, University of Miami, Leonard M Miller School of Medicine, Clinical Professor, Surgery, Nova Southeastern School of Medicine

Harris Gellman, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Arkansas Medical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Michael S Clarke, MD Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine

Michael S Clarke, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Arthroscopy Association of North America, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association for Hand Surgery, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, Clinical Orthopaedic Society, Mid-Central States Orthopaedic Society, Missouri State Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

Jessica Nguyen Gillespie, MD Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Franciscan Physician Network

Jessica Nguyen Gillespie, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Indiana State Medical Association, and Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

References
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The metacarpal head is uniquely shaped in that it is ovoid in the sagittal plane, and it widens from the dorsal to the volar dimension. The collateral ligaments are eccentrically mounted dorsal to the axis of rotation of the metacarpophalangeal joint. This anatomy causes variable degrees of tightness on the collateral ligaments based on the position of the joint by a camlike effect. When the joint is in extension, the collateral ligaments are lax. In flexion, the collateral ligaments span a greater distance and are tight.
Proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint collateral ligaments originate close to the axis of rotation, providing a smaller change in length with joint position and providing lateral stability. The PIP joint ranges in only 1 plane, and its trochlear shape also adds to its lateral stability.
Edema is the initial response to any insult to the hand and leads to adverse sequelae. Joint stiffness develops as intra-articular hematoma and fluid accumulate within the synovial space, distending the capsule. Increased fluid content within the articular capsule and collateral ligaments effectively shortens these structures, favoring extension.
With injury, checkreins form at the IP joints. Checkreins are collagenous bands connecting the lateral sides of the proximal volar plate to the assembly lines on the volar lateral surfaces of the phalanx. Assembly lines are the 2 ridges along the volar lateral surfaces of the phalanx to which are attached volar ligamentous structures, such as the flexor sheath, Cleland and Grayson ligaments, and the oblique retinacular ligaments of Landsmeer.
 
 
 
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