Pronounced: boo-ten-EER de-FORM-uh-tee of finger
Boutonnière deformity (BD) prevents you from straightening your finger. The disorder affects the finger’s system of tendons. The tendons allow you to flex and straighten your finger.
Tendons in Finger
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In BD, the tendon on the top of the finger (called the central slip) is torn or cut from the other tendons. This creates a tear that resembles a buttonhole (or boutonnière in French). The middle joint is forced down and the fingertip bends back. The tendons on this part of the finger are flat and thin. They are prone to injury. If you have BD in the thumb, it affects a joint called the metacarpophalangeal (MCP).
BD can be caused by:
These factors increase your chance of developing BD:
Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors.
If you have any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to BD. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done, paying close attention to:
An x-ray may be done to see if you have a fracture.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
Your doctor may recommend the following medications:
For milder cases, the treatment is nonsurgical and may involve:
If your finger does not improve, you may need surgery.
Surgery is needed in severe cases. For example, when the tendon is cut or when the deformity has lasted a long time. Surgery generally does not return your finger to the way it was working before the injury. But, you may have some improvement. After surgery, you will have to do exercises to strengthen the finger.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Canadian Physiotherapy Association
Boutonniere deformity of the finger. Orthogate website. Available at: http://www.orthogate.org/patient-education/hand/boutonniere-deformity-of-the-finger.html. Updated July 27, 2006. Accessed October 24, 2012.
Dupuytren disease. EBSCO Publishing DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 17, 2012. Accessed October 23, 2012.
Sports-related wrist and hand injuries. EBSCO Patient Education Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/pointofcare. Updated May 21, 2012. Accessed October 23, 2012.
To P, Watson JT. Boutonniere deformity. J Hand Surg Am. 2011 Jan; 36(1):139-42.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Teresa Briedwell, DPT, OCS
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2012 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.
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