Click here to return to the LMHS Home Page

 

Print-Friendly
Bookmarks

Claw hand

 

Claw hand is a condition that causes curved or bent fingers. This makes the hand appear like the claw of an animal.

Someone can be born with claw hand (congenital), or they can develop it because of certain disorders, such as nerve injury.

Causes

 

Causes may include:

  • Congenital abnormality
  • Nerve damage in the arm
  • Scarring after a severe burn of the hand or forearm

 

When to Contact a Medical Professional

 

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 Office Visit

 

Your provider will examine you and look closely at your hands and feet. You will be asked questions about your medical history and symptoms.

The following tests may be done to check for nerve damage:

  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Nerve conduction studies

TREATMENT

Treatment depends on the cause. It may include:

  • Splinting
  • Surgery to fix problems that may be contributing to the claw hand, such as nerve problems, tendon abnormalities, joint contractures, or scar tissue
  • Therapy to straighten the fingers

 

 

References

Preston DC, Shapiro BE. Proximal, distal, and generalized weakness. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 25.

Sarnat HB. Hereditary motor-sensory neuropathies. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 605.

BACK TO TOPText only

 
  • Claw hand

    Claw hand

    illustration

    • Claw hand

      Claw hand

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Self Care

       

        Tests for Claw hand

         
           

          Review Date: 9/8/2014

          Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

          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. 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.
          adam.com

           
           
           

           

           

          A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.