Treatment of swan neck deformity in cerebral palsy

J Hand Surg Am. 2014 Apr;39(4):768-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2014.01.039. Epub 2014 Mar 6.


Swan neck deformity in patients with cerebral palsy can result from hand intrinsic muscle spasticity or overpull of the digital extensors. After accurate identification of the etiology of the deformity, surgical treatment is directed at correcting the underlying muscle imbalance. Intrinsic lengthening can be used to treat intrinsic muscle spasticity, whereas central slip tenotomy is employed when digital extensor overpull is the deforming force. Accurate diagnosis and application of the proper surgical technique are essential when treating swan neck deformity in patients with cerebral palsy.

Keywords: Cerebral palsy; extensor tendons; intrinsic tightness; swan neck deformity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy / surgery*
  • Hand Deformities, Acquired / etiology
  • Hand Deformities, Acquired / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Muscle Spasticity / complications
  • Muscle Spasticity / surgery
  • Postoperative Care
  • Tenotomy