Post-Traumatic Clinodactyly of the Little Finger in Basque Hand-Pelota Players
A Barriga-Martín 1 , L M Romero-Muñoz 2 , D Aquerreta-Beola 3 , S Amillo-Garayoa 4
Objective: The aim of this study is to measure the DIP joint angle of the little finger and presence of degenerative changes in the DIP joint in Basque hand-pelota players and compare it with the general Spanish population.
Material and methods: Cross-sectional study. We studied both hands of 40 male Basque pelota players (pelotaris) and 20 male controls. The assessment protocol consisted of a questionnaire, physical examination and bilateral plain radiographs. Distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint angle was measured on plain radiographs in both hands.
Results: The average DIP joint angle of the little finger in the control group was 2.6° in the dominant hand and 2.9° in the other hand. In the pelota players group we obtained a DIP angle of 6.8° in the dominant hand and 10.9° in the non-dominant hand. The DIP angle was significantly higher in the non-dominant hand (P=.002) in the pelota player group. Non-significant differences were obtained between both hands in the control group (p=.572). Significant differences were obtained in both player and control groups in the dominant hand (P=.001) and in the non-dominant hand (P=.001). Pelota players have a higher DIP angle in the little fingers than the control group. No differences were found in the pelota player group according to their position on the court (P=.742 forward, P=.747 defender) or sport level (P=.345 amateur, P=.346 professional).
Discussion: Basque hand-pelota produces post-traumatic acquired clinodactyly of the little finger. The non-dominant hand has a higher DIP joint angle. Clinodactyly poses no functional problems.