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What is a swan-neck deformity of the hand with RA?

This deformity occurs when the ligament on the palm side of the middle joint of the finger becomes lose secondary to the RA disease process. This joint then develops a state of hyperextension. The hyperextension causes increased tension on the tendons that help to straighten the finger. The joint closest to the nail on the finger then bends in response to the increased tension on the tendons. 

Hyperextension is when the finger moves beyond being straight. This movement is away from the palm. 

Flexion is when the finger bends towards the palm. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.