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Eur J Neurol. 2009 Jul;16(7):864-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2009.02610.x. Epub 2009 Mar 31.

The challenge of diagnosing focal hand dystonia in musicians.

Author information

1
Institut de Fisiologia i Medicina de l 'Art-Terrassa, Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain. info@institutart.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

To most clinicians, medical problems in musicians, particularly those concerning focal hand dystonia, constitute an unfamiliar domain difficult to manage. The latter can importantly influence diagnostics and the course of treatment. The purpose of this study was to enlighten the issue and to identify possible problems in diagnosing musicians' cramp within the Spanish medical community.

METHODS:

We used a brief questions' catalog and clinical histories of 665 musicians seen at our clinic for performing artists. We analyzed patients' diagnosis records in 87 cases of focal hand dystonia (13.1%). In so doing, we surveyed previous diagnoses and diverse treatments prescriptions prior to referral to our clinic.

RESULTS:

Referrals came primarily from orthopaedists and neurologists. The 52.9% arrived at our clinic without a diagnosis or a suspicion of suffering from focal dystonia. The most frequently attempted diagnoses other than musicians' dystonia included nerve compression, tendonitis and trigger fingers. Commonly prescribed treatments included rest, various surgical procedures, physiotherapy and oral anti-inflammatory medication.

CONCLUSIONS:

This data depicts the diagnostic challenges of medical professionals may encounter when confronted with musician's focal dystonia.

PMID:
19473363
PMCID:
PMC3366153
DOI:
10.1111/j.1468-1331.2009.02610.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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