Is vibration-induced white finger a reversible syndrome if vibration is stopped?

J Hand Surg Br. 1996 Dec;21(6):750-2. doi: 10.1016/s0266-7681(96)80179-3.


The purpose of the study was to investigate if vibration-induced white finger may be a reversible symptom after cessation of vibration exposure. Fifty-nine welders, previously employed by a ship building company and who had shown various levels of vibration-induced vasospastic symptoms in the hand were interviewed 5 to 6 years after closure of the company. Out of the 43 patients exposed to no or insignificant vibration subsequently, 28 claimed improvement, 11 claimed unchanged problems and four complained of worse problems. Twelve of these patients had the cold provocation test repeated at follow up. One patient showed the same result as 5 years earlier, six showed improvement and five showed much improvement. Of 16 patients with continued vibration exposure none showed subjective improvement, nine claimed unchanged problems while seven patients were worse. It is concluded that vibration-induced white finger is not a progressive condition following cessation of exposure to vibration. On the contrary it may be static or even reversible to some extent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cold Temperature
  • Fingers / blood supply*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Ships*
  • Sweden
  • Syndrome
  • Vasomotor System / physiopathology
  • Vibration / adverse effects*
  • Welding*