history (hand)

Last reviewed 01/2018

When taking the history of a hand problem, consider:

  • pain:
    • pain from the hand may be felt in the fingers or palm
    • a diffuse ache may be referred from the neck, shoulder or mediastinum

  • deformity:
    • as well as providing function the hand is also of great cosmetic importance
    • deformity may occur acutely e.g. due to tendon rupture, or slowly due to bone or joint pathology

  • swelling:
    • symmetry and pattern of joint involvement may be diagnostic

  • function:
    • the patient may be unable to grasp doorknobs, turn keys or do buttons up