The mechanics of normal digital control in the hand and an analysis of the ulnar drift of rheumatoid arthritis.
- K M Backhouse
- Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of…
One hundred normal fingers were dissected and arthrographs obtained by injection of chromopaque-gelatin mixture, allowing comparison between the radiographic and macroscopic configuration of the synovial capsule. Synovial recesses protruding from each side of every metacarpo-phalangeal joint were found in relation to the collateral ligaments and corresponding exactly with the site of radiological erosions. A group of bursae lying on the superficial aspect of collateral ligaments were also demonstrated. A rudimentary intra-articular meniscus was found. The results of examination of the insertions of the interossei showed differences from traditional descriptions. The cause of rheumatoid deformity was suggested to be the rheumatoid process arising in the lateral recesses and lateral bursae, weakening the collateral ligaments, which give way in the directions of the deforming forces. These are derived from the long flexor tendons, which were shown to exert an ulnar and volar strain on the metacarpo-phalangeal joint of every finger during grip.