Rheumatoid Arthritis: Swan neck deformity vs boutonniere deformity

Deformities of the finger in Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

What is a boutonniere deformity?

Boutonniere deformity is a deformed position of the fingers or toes, in which the joint nearest the knuckle (the proximal interphalangeal joint, or PIP) is permanently bent toward the palm while the farthest joint (the distal interphalangeal joint, or DIP) is bent back away (PIP flexion with DIP hyperextension).

Swan neck deformity is a deformed position of the finger, in which the joint closest to the fingertip is permanently bent toward the palm while the nearest joint to the palm is bent away from it (DIP flexion with PIP hyperextension).

Deformities of the finger in Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

Symptoms of arthritis in the hands may include:

  • Pain in some or all of the joints, including joints of the fingers, wrists, and thumbs.
  • The growth of bony knobs on finger joints.
  • Numbness in fingers.
  • Swollen, red, or warm joints.
  • Stiffness in the fingers, especially in the morning in patients who have rheumatoid arthritis.

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