Sunday, July 31, 2011


Camptodactyly, from the combination of the Greek words for bent (kamptos) and finger (daktylos), refers to a permanent flexion deformity at the proximal interphalangeal joint of one or more fingers. The deformity is painless and non-neurogenic and most commonly affects the small finger (camptodactyly 5).

The cause of camptodactyly is not known. It may be related to a fascial abnormality at the proximal interphalangeal joint or due to contracture of the flexor digitorum superficialis.

Camptodactyly occurs with an incidence is less than 1% and may be sporadic or familial. It is commonly isolated, but may also be associated with any number of conditions, including oculodentodigital syndrome, orodigitofacial syndrome, Trisomy 13-15, ankyloglossia superior, osteo-onychodysplasia, congenital heart disease, absence of the pectoral muscle, Marfan syndrome, and radioulnar synostosis.

Radiographs show a flexion deformity at the proximal interphalangeal joint witha compensatory hyperextension distally.

Camptodactyly has been illustrated by Botticelli and da Vinci. In his sketch of his hands as an old man, we can see camptodactyly in his small finger.

Camptodactyly should not be confused with Clinodactyly. While both most commonly occur at the small finger, clinodactyly refers to the curvature of a finger in the mediolateral plane (i.e., in a radial or ulnar direction).


Poznanski AK, Pratt GB, Manson G, Weiss L. Clinodactyly, camptodactyly, Kirner's deformity, and other crooked fingers. Radiology. 1969 Sep;93(3):573-82.

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