O SlideShare utiliza cookies para otimizar a funcionalidade e o desempenho do site, assim como para apresentar publicidade mais relevante aos nossos usuários. Se você continuar a navegar o site, você aceita o uso de cookies. Leia nosso Contrato do Usuário e nossa Política de Privacidade.
O SlideShare utiliza cookies para otimizar a funcionalidade e o desempenho do site, assim como para apresentar publicidade mais relevante aos nossos usuários. Se você continuar a utilizar o site, você aceita o uso de cookies. Leia nossa Política de Privacidade e nosso Contrato do Usuário para obter mais detalhes.
Maharishi Markandeshwar Institute Of Physiotherapy And Rehabilitation, Maharishi Markandeshwar (Deemed to be University), Mullana - Ambala,133-207 (Haryana)
MD. MONSUR RAHMAN
MPT (Musculoskeletal Disorders)
MM UNIVERSITY, MULLANA, AMBALA
• Claw hand is an abnormal hand position that develops due to a problem
with the ulnar nerve or, Both ulna and median nerve.
• A hand in ulnar claw position will have the 4th and 5th fingers extended
at the metacarpophalangeal joints and flexed at the interphalangeal
• The patients with this condition can make a full fist(punch) but when
they extend their fingers, the hand posture is referred to as claw hand..
TYPES OF CLAW HAND
• Involving only ulnar 2 digits as in
isolated ulnar nerve palsy
• Involving all digits and resulting form
combined ulnar and median nerve palsy
• An ulnar claw may follow an ulnar nerve lesion which results in the partial or
complete denervation of the ulnar (medial) two lumbricals of the hand.
• The ulnar nerve also innervates the 3rd and 4th lumbricals, which flex the MCP
joints, their denervation causes these joints to become extended by unopposed action
of the long finger extensors (namely the extensor digitorum and the extensor digiti
• The lumbricals and interossei also extend the IP (interphalangeal) joints of the
fingers by insertion into the extensor hood; their paralysis results in weakened
• The combination of hyperextension at the MCP and flexion at the IP joints gives the
hand its claw like appearance
• Claw hand can be a congenital defect, a defect present at birth
• Ulnar nerve palsy is due to wrist injury
• Paralysis of the ulna and median nerves
• Leprosy still remains the most common cause of the claw hand.
• Risk in gender and BMI, Older males are more likely to have ulnar
mononeuropathy than females without regard to BMI. 95% of females with
a BMI less than a 22.0 have a higher risk of ulnar nerve damage from a lack
of adipose “cushion”.
• Scarring after a severe burn of the hand or forearm.
Daily Activities Leading To
Desk jobs prolong movement, elbow leaning
When using a pizza cutter or similar hand tools
Applying upper body weight to push down on the tool over time can cause damage
to the nerve.
External compression at the elbow
High grip strength, such as string musicians, are more susceptible to ulnar
Signs & Symptoms
Hyperextension of the metacarpophalangeal joints and flexion of the interphalangeal joints.
Loss of abduction/adduction of the fingers
Wasting of the interosseous muscles and hypothenar.(Abductor digiti minimi, Flexor digiti minimi
brevis,Opponens digiti minimi)
Little finger remains permanently abducted from the ring finger (Wartenberg's sign).
There will be numbness in the distribution of the involved nerve or nerves.
Median nerve thenar muscle paralysis results in the ‘simian palm’ deformity where the thumb
metacarpal moves dorsally into the plane of the finger metacarpals due to the unopposed extension of
the pollicis longus tendon.
• Weakness, especially in turning doorknobs, keys in locks and taking tops off jars is a
common complaint due to the lack of abduction/adduction of the fingers.
• Pickup is clumsy especially in the full claw hand where the pulps of the fingers cannot
be presented to the object because of inability to fully extend the interphalangeal joints.
• Thumb pinch grip is also greatly weakened and clumsy due to adductor paralysis and
the collapsing interphalangeal joint converting the pulp pinch of the thumb into nail
• Thumb disability is further magnified in the full claw hand where median innervated
thenar muscles are also paralysed.
• Strong power grip of the fingers into the palm, however, is retained, except where the
long flexors are involved in high nerve injuries.
• Fixed flexion contractures of the proximal interphalangeal joints of the clawed fingers
can develop as a secondary phenomenon due to lack of active extension and trophic
changes may occur due to numbness.
o This deep flexor compartment compression
syndrome results in ischemic necrosis of the
profundus tendons in the forearm causing
flexion contracture of the fingers.
o The superficialis tendons are usually spared, but
the intrinsic tendons may also be contracted.
This produces flexion of all joints of the
fingers, rather than hyperextension of the
metacarpophalangeal joints. The flexor tendons
Intrinsic Muscle Contracture
• This can be of ischaemic origin, due to crush injuries and
produces the opposite deformity to the claw hand, namely
tight intrinsic, or intrinsic plus hand, rather than the loose
intrinsic minus claw hand.
• This condition spontaneously occurs in rheumatoid arthritis
and may lead to Swan neck deformity.
• The Bunnell test for intrinsic tightness involves passive
extension of the metacarpophalangeal joint followed by
assessment of the passive flexibility of the interphalangeal
• In the normal hand when the metacarpophalangeal joint is
maximally extended the interphalangeal joints can be fully
• Dupuytren's contracture is a condition in which one
or more fingers become permanently bent in a flexed
• It usually begins as small hard nodules just under the
skin of the palm then worsens over time until the
fingers can no longer be straightened. While typically
not painful some aching or itching may be present.
• The ring finger followed by the little and middle
fingers are most commonly affected. It can interfere
with preparing food, writing, and other activities
Congenital Flexion Contracture
• This condition usually involves only the little
finger, it is often bilateral and is hereditary. It is
present at birth.
• The finger is flexed at the proximal
interphalangeal joint and often cannot be
passively fully straightened.
• This results from an upper motor neuron palsy
and usually involves a clasping deformity of the
thumb in the palm and tightening of the flexor
tendons that cannot be easily passively
• The wrist is also characteristically flexed.
• When a person has damage to the peripheral nervous system, this is
called peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is complex, and
many diseases, injuries, body chemical imbalances, tumors, repetitive
motion disorders, exposure to toxins, or genetic inheritance can cause
• It can also vary in symptoms, severity, and rate of cure, depending
upon the cause. This damage can have a number of symptoms and
can include numbness, tingling, weakness of the muscles the
damaged nerves serve, and in some cases severe pain.
• If a nerve is permanently damaged, the muscles it serves can
gradually die, resulting in movement impairment. In some cases,
neuropathy can result in complete paralysis of the affected areas. On
the other hand, some conditions cause damage to the nerves
temporarily. While people with affected nerves may experience the
above conditions on a temporary basis, the nerves are able to recover,
so the condition is not permanent.
Nerve repair or decompression where possible is the treatment of choice. If the nerves are
unrepairable or repairs have failed, tendon transfers can be considered. Tendon transfers at best
correct the claw deformity and thumb collapse, but do little to restore the functional disability of loss
of abduction/adduction of the fingers or thumb collapse.
Postoperative management includes-
• Immobilization of the operated fingers by a dorsoulnar forearm plaster cast
including the metacarpophalangeal joints which are flexed to 70°.
• After 2 weeks replacement of the cast by a thermoplastic splint for another 4 weeks.
• During the whole period exercises for the finger and thumb should be carried out.
Hand and Finger Exercises
• Make a gentle fist with thumb wrapped across the fingers and hold it for
30-60 seconds. Then release and spread the hands wide. Try to do this at
least four times with each hand.
• Sit ups and press ups may be great for the abs but there are also versions
that are good for the hands. Finger stretches increase the motion of your
hand and can also help with pain relief. Place your hand palm down on a
flat surface and gently straightened your fingers until they are as flat as
possible without forcing it. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds then
release and try to do this at least four times per hand.
• Another exercise to help with motion range is the claw stretch. Hold out
the hand in front of you with the palm facing up. Bend over your
fingertips to touch the base of each finger joint – hence the claw – and
hold this for 30-60 seconds. Release the hand and then repeat at least four
• Another fitness exercise mimicked is the finger lift. Put your hand palm
down on a flat surface and lift one finger off the top then lower it. Try
lifting all of your fingers at once if you can. Do this 8-12 times per hand.
• Squeeze The Ball
squeeze the ball into palm of the hand as hard
as you can and hold it there for a few seconds.
The idea is to do this around 10-15 times per
session and have around 2-3 sessions a week,
leaving at least 48 hours between sessions..
• Preventive therapy is recommended to preserve the function of the fingers. This may
include physical exercise, stretching, proper bodily function and myofascial release
(massage, foam roller).
• Exercises are focused on the forearm muscles, such as the extensor carpi ulnaris;
extensor digitorum to antagonize the flexion of the fingers.
• Massaging the forearm muscles also alleviates the tightness that occurs with muscles
• Stretching allows the muscles more flexibility, decreasing interference with the
innervations of the ulnar nerve to the fingers.