Boutonniere Deformity: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Boutonniere deformity is a condition in which the proximal joint (away from the knuckle joint) of the finger goes into flexion and the distal joint goes into extension.

Before reading further it would be good to first see Swan Neck Deformityand Finger Anatomy (skip if you have already done so).

In this deformity the lateral slips that extend the distal joint move downwards (towards the palmer surface) and become stiff.

Now as you try to extend the finger these lateral slips flex the proximal joint (because of there downward position). And their stiffness and tightening causes extension of the distal joint, this produces the deformity.

Common causes include

  • cerebral palsy
  • rheumatoid arthritis

Classification is into three types

  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Severe

Treatment includes

  • splinting the finger
  • exercises and gentle stretching
  • tendon reconstruction
  • joint fusion
  • joint replacement

I hope the information provided was helpful. If you have any query you can ask me at the contact me page.

This page was last updated on 13th March 2009.

Other causes of finger joint pain...

Finger Fracture

Finger Amputation

Glomus Tumor


Trigger Finger

Swan Neck Deformity

Mallet Finger

Kirner Deformity


Bowlers Thumb

Thumb Dislocation

Go back from Boutonniere Deformity to Finger Joint Pain


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