Swan Neck Deformity

Swan neck deformity appears as a result of an untreated extensor tendon injury or within the course of rheumatoid arthritis.

In this malposition of the finger, there is an overextension of the finger at the middle joint with a simultaneous flexing of the finger at the end joint. Through rheumatic inflammation of the underlying joints, the tendon in the finger end joint slips to a certain extent to the flex side causing the finger end to stay flexed. If the condition has developed to the extent that a fixed swan neck deformity exists, and the patient cannot flex the finger anymore, operative surgery should be performed in every case due to a significant limitation of the hand’s functions.

In latter stages of the condition’s development, the operation is extensive as the tendons have shortened to correspond to their new malposition.


More on tendon injuries in
Hand Surgery at a Glance