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J Hand Surg Am. 1985 Sep;10(5):613-8.

Congenital clasped thumb: a review of forty-three cases.


Over a 10-year period, 43 patients (75 hands) with congenital clasped thumb were seen in our institution. Three groups were identified: group I, 14 patients (24 hands) without contracture; group II, 14 patients (21 hands) with contractures of the palmar side; and group III, 15 patients (30 hands) with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. Forty-two hands were treated with splinting alone and 16 hands with surgery. The remaining 17 hands were followed conservatively without splinting or surgery. The mean follow-up was 32 months. The results were evaluated by active abduction of the carpometacarpal joint and extension of metacarpophalangeal joint. All patients in group I showed good response to splinting, and the cause of the deformity appeared to be the predominance of the flexor muscles. In groups II and III, 10 patients (16 hands) who had severe deformity or no response to splinting were treated by release of the palmar soft tissues, skin grafts, and reconstruction of the extensors. Satisfactory results were obtained in 12 of 16 hands.

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