Kanavel’s 4 signs of infectious flexor tenosynovitis

29 May

intense pain accompanies any attempt to extend partly flexed fingertendon%20sheath-resized-600

 – this is absent in local involvement;

 – pain will be noted along the course of tendon with extension;

 – this is the earliest and most important sign;

 – in case of a local furuncle, in contrast, the finger can be held straight without much pain;


flexion posture: finger is held in flexion for comfort


uniform swelling involving entire finger in contrast to localized swelling in local inflammation


percussion tenderness along the course of the tendon sheath

 – tenderness is marked along the course of inflammed sheath in contrast to its absence in a localized inflammation


Submitted by J. Rothstein.


References: http://www.wheelessonline.com/ortho/kanavels_four_cardinal_signs; picture


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