Swan Neck
What is it?
This condition is characterised by weakness in the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP) causing hyper-extension of the PIP and flexion at the distal interphalangeal joint (DIP) thought to give the appearance of a swan’s neck.

It can affect one or more fingers and is progressive, meaning over time the appearance becomes more and more like a swans neck.
Swan Neck
Disease or injury are the main reasons for instability in the PIP joint which makes it very difficult or impossible to bend the finger(s) to pinch or pick up items.

The more a person tries to bend the finger (called flexion), the further their finger goes in the opposite direction (called extension), pulling the DIP into more flexion.

The most common reasons for this condition are inflammatory arthritis, untreated or mistreated finger injuries, such as Mallet finger, ruptured tendons or misalignment of fractures.
Swan Neck
What is the treatment?
Due to difficulty bending the finger or fingers it results in considerable disability affecting the ability to grasp and pick up items. As a result the person will compensate by developing new techniques to pick up items which unfortunately can sometimes lead to additional problems if left unchecked.

Hand Kinetics will assess the joint integrity and analyse how you perform actions before and after stabilising the joint with ring splints or oval 8’s. This may be all that is required so your muscles can bend when you want them to.
Swan Neck
How can Hand Kinetics help me?
Depending on the cause for the condition, which may be temporary or permanent, your Hand Kinetics therapist can adjust your treatment accordingly and monitor progress.

Your therapist at Hand Kinetics can measure your fingers and fit them with splints and show you how to correctly perform daily activities so you can remain independent, confident that how you perform daily activities will no longer cause additional deformity.
Swan Neck
What happens if I need surgery?
In rare cases surgery to correct the alignment of joint structures may be considered as a longer term solution if your condition is caused by progressive disease or if you are unhappy about wearing splints daily.

Surgery to the fingers is unfortunately very complex however and comes with many risks as well as several weeks of intensive rehabilitation afterwards.

Your Hand Kinetics therapist can recommend a surgeon for consultation if you require it and manage your rehabilitation afterwards so you can achieve the best results.

Hand Kinetics Telephone: 0044 28 417 72301

15 The Avenue, Burren, Warrenpoint. Co. Down. BT34 3XJ

0044 28 4176 7238
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