Claw hand

Claw hand is a condition characterized by curved or bent fingers, which makes it appear like the claw of an animal. See also claw foot.

Claw hand can be something that a child is born with (congenital), or it can develop as a consequence of certain disorders (acquired).

Common Causes

  • Congenital deformity  
  • Nerve damage

Call your health care provider if

If the condition is congenital, it is usually diagnosed at birth. If you notice claw hand developing, contact your health care provider.

What to expect at your health care provider’s office
The health care provider will perform a physical examination. This examination may include extra attention to examination of the hands and feet.

The health care provider will also obtain your medical history. Medical history questions documenting claw hand in detail may include:

  • Time pattern       o When did you first notice the abnormal hand shape?       o Is it getting worse?  
  • Location: Does it affect both hands?  
  • Other: Do other symptoms occur at the same time?

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 4, 2012
by Harutyun Medina, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.