Claw hand Definition
Claw hand is a condition that causes curved or bent fingers. This makes the hand appear like the claw of an animal.
Claw hand can be something that someone is born with (congenital) or that they develop because of certain disorders, such as nerve injury.
Common Causes Congenital abnormality
Nerve damage in the arm
Scarring after a severe burn of the hand or forearm Call your health care provider if
If the condition is congenital, it is usually diagnosed at birth. If you notice claw hand developing, contact your health care provider.
What to expect at your health care provider's office
The health care provider will perform a physical examination. This examination may include extra attention to the hands and feet.
The health care provider will also ask for your medical history. Medical history questions may include:
When did you first notice the abnormal hand shape?
Is it getting worse? Does it affect both hands?
Do other symptoms occur at the same time?
Your doctor may order other studies, such as electromyography (
EMG), or nerve conduction studies to evaluate for nerve damage.
Treatment depends on the cause of the deformity. It may include:
Surgery to fix problems that may be contributing to the claw hand, such as nerve problems, tendon abnormalities, or scar tissue
Therapy to straighten the fingers References
Sarnat HB. Hereditary motor-sensory neuropathies. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds.
Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 612.
Robinson JA, Preston DC, Shapiro BE. Proximal, distal, and generalized weakness. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds.
Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann; 2008:chap 27.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-
A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.