Hand flexor tenosynovitis in rheumatoid arthritis. Prevalence, distribution, and associated rheumatic features

Arthritis Rheum. 1977 May;20(4):1003-8. doi: 10.1002/art.1780200414.


Tenosynovitis of one or more flexor tendons of the hand (mean 3.1 tendons per patient) was noted in 55% of 100 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) examined periodically during a mean period of 5 years. The third flexor tendon was involved most frequently (71% of patients), followed by the second (62%), fourth (53%), fifth (27%), and first (13%). Patients with flexor tendonitis (FT) had a significantly higher prevalence of rheumatoid nodules (56% vs 33%), carpal tunnel syndrome (47% vs 13%), wrist extensor tenosynovitis (47% vs 9%), and elbow epicondylitis (22% vs 7%) than patients without FT. Dupuytren's contracture, DeQuervain's tenovaginitis, flexor carpi radialis and ulnaris tendonitis, and Achilles tendonitis were found exclusively in patients with FT. A control group of 50 non-RA patients with FT had statistically fewer diseased tendons per patient (mean 1.5) and a different digital distribution, the thumb being affected more frequently (P less than 0.05) than in RA patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arm
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Dupuytren Contracture / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Hand*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tendinopathy / epidemiology
  • Tenosynovitis / complications*
  • Tenosynovitis / epidemiology
  • Wrist