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Hypothenar Hammer Syndrome


  • This is a condition of the hand in which the blood flow to the fingers is reduced. Hypothenar controls the movement of the little finger with a group of muscles, some making up the fleshy edge of the palm (hypothenar eminence).  It occurs due to repeated/prolonged pressure (BUT can happen through one single episode) from pushing and/or twisting hard objects. These activities can damage blood vessels and the ulnar artery, reducing blood flow to fingers.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q:  Who can get Hypothenar Hammer Syndrome?

A:  It typically occurs in middle-aged men and is common among those that work with their hands like an auto mechanics or bricklayer, or those that use vibrating tools.  Also those involved in certain sports involving repeated pressure and trauma to the palm like baseball, mountain biking and volleyball.


Q:  What are the symptoms of hypothenar hammer syndrome?

A:  Symptoms may include pain over hypothenar eminence and ring finger, pins and needles, difficulty holding objects, sensitivity to cold, loss of sensation and color change. 

How is hypothenar hammer syndrome treated?

Treatment begins by avoiding those activities that caused the syndrome.  Those diagnosed with this syndrome should consider smoking cessation as this affects blood flood, avoiding the cold, wearing gloves, medication for blood flow.  Some may require surgery.

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