Almost 10% of older adults in nursing homes have a fixed flexion deformity of the fingers (claw hand). Such contractures have important functional consequences, often leading to hygiene difficulties. Medical treatment (such as botulinum toxin injections, physiotherapy or positioning) is not always effective and surgery is often not possible in such fragile patients. Microinvasive tenotomy with a large needle could be a useful alternative because it can be carried out in an ambulatory setting under local anaesthesia.
A single center, retrospective study involving the 2012–2014 database from the day-hospital unit of a neuro-orthopaedic department in France. All patients who underwent percutaneous needle tenotomy of the finger or thumb flexors were included. Outcomes included Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) and the distance in centimeters between the palm and the pulp of the most flexed digit (PPD).
Eighteen patients underwent tenotomy (13 women; mean age: 76±14 years); all patients lived in a nursing home. The limb to be treated was nonfunctional in all patients. The principal goal was determined by consensus with the patients and their health-care teams and was most often to facilitate hand hygiene. Eight patients had at least one secondary goal. In total, 10 patients underwent microinvasive tenotomy for 4 fingers, 5 patients 1 to 4 fingers and 3 patients only the thumb. At 3 months after treatment, goals were achieved for 11 patients, 5 patients progressed toward the goal without attaining it, and for 2 patients, scores were worse. The T-scores of the GAS and the PPD were significantly increased at 3 months (P=0.0326 and P=0.0002, respectively). No serious adverse events occurred.
Large-needle tenotomy seems safe and effective for treating claw hand in fragile older patients.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Contractures, Tenotomy, Needle, Finger flexors