Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

I have one finger that is deformed from a benign tumor I've had since I was 10 years old. It's never bothered me how it looks but I'm starting to lose my grip because that finger is permanently bent. Is it too late to do something about this problem?

Answer:

Studies show that early treatment of benign tumors such as osteochondroma of the fingers have the best results. Waiting too long results in soft tissue, joint, and bone changes that are more difficult to change. But that doesn't mean that surgery to restore a more normal alignment can't be done. It's likely that you will regain motion and function but maybe not perfection. In a recent case series of 10 patients with benign osteochondroma of one finger, there was one patient who had the condition for 20 years before having surgery. Motion was improved 100 per cent. Although he was still unable to fully extend the finger, pain from arthritis was much improved and he could use that hand to pick things up once again. The first step is to see a hand surgeon. The surgeon's examination and X-rays will give enough information to make a treatment plan with projected outcomes (what is expected to happen) and pronosis (how likely it is). Just letting it go will likely result in progressive arthritis with pain, and loss of motion and function. Surgery now may head those problems off before it's too late. Goo Hyan Baek, MD, et al. Solitary Intra-Articular Osteochondroma of the Finger. In The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. May 2010. Vol. 92-A. No. 5. Pp. 1137-1143.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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