Mr. Elliot Sorene MBBS FRCS (Tr & Orth) EDHS Consultant Orthopaedic, Hand & Upper Limb Surgeon explains Boutenniere Deformity Surgery.
The extensor tendons which go over the fingers have a complex pattern and when injured can develop a Boutonniere deformity.
The Boutonniere deformity would typically affect a rugby player who may have stubbed their finger.
It can take a number of weeks before this deformity happens but in the beginning they will have injured their finger, have pain over the back of the finger but be told everything is ok. Then slowly they will develop a Boutonniere deformity which is a sort of zig zag.
The deformity can cause increasing stiffness and decreased function in the hand. If it is picked up early it can be treated by splinting the finger with a finger splint which allows the very end of the finger to move. After 6 weeks in a splint the majority of Boutonniere type injuries heal perfectly well.
If a full Boutonniere deformity is present if the injury has been neglected or failed to heal then there are a number of surgical techniques which are available to restore the finger to normal shape and functioning. However, surgery will take a number of months to recover from so conservative treatment first is preferred if possible.