Can Holding a Smartphone Cause Deformities to the Hands and Fingers?

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Phoenix hand surgeon Dr. Michael Fitzmaurice sheds light on recent reports of a new phenomenon known “smartphone pinky.”

phoenix hand surgeon

Phoenix Hand Surgeon Michael Fitzmaurice

"When conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome develop, getting treatment sooner rather than later can help to avoid permanent nerve damage and chronic pain," said Dr. Fitzmaurice

People now spend so much time on their smartphones that “digital detox” camps and events have started to crop up around the world, to remind humans of a simpler time when being connected meant making eye contact with another human over a meal for at least an hour. And while ergonomic concerns, coupled with the amount of time that many Americans spend sitting in front of a tablet or smartphone are valid, can holding a phone for prolonged periods of time lead to hand and finger deformities or injuries as recent headlines have suggested? Pictures of a condition referred to as “smartphone pinky,” where the pinky finger appears to curve abnormally, have been making the rounds on social media and have even been reported on by the publication Popular Science.

“While the hands, wrists, and fingers are vulnerable to pain and problems caused by repetitive strain injuries and nerve conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or trigger thumb, the likelihood that simply holding a smartphone will lead to deformity or abnormal curvature of an otherwise healthy finger is virtually non-existent at this point,” said hand surgeon Dr. Michael Fitzmaurice, founder of the Fitzmaurice Hand Institute and the Endotech minimally invasive hand surgery system in Phoenix.

While the consensus among hand surgeons and nerve injury experts is that the “smartphone pinky” described in recent news reports is most likely due to an underlying condition like Dupuytren’s Contracture or a repetitive strain injury, elbow pain from keeping the arm in a bent position for long periods of time while typing on a laptop or smartphone is a real problem which can lead to pain and tingling in the hands and fingers.

Learn about Dupuytren's Contracture: http://www.FitzHand.com/Dupuytrens-Contracture/

“Paying attention to your posture and the amount of time spent sitting at a desk or typing on a smartphone are all good ideas. We encourage our patients at the Fitzmaurice Hand Institute to pay attention to any pain, soreness, swelling, or mobility problems in the hands and wrists that seem out of the ordinary and persist for more than a few days, as they can be a sign of a problem. Prevention is always the goal, but when conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome develop, getting treatment sooner rather than later can help to avoid permanent nerve damage and chronic pain,” added Dr. Fitzmaurice.

Dr. Michael Fitzmaurice is a board-certified surgeon with certification in both Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery. Dr. Fitzmaurice has performed thousands of surgical procedures with an endoscopic carpal tunnel success rate of greater than 99%. He specializes in minimally-invasive, endoscopic nerve procedures for carpal tunnel, trigger finger, tennis elbow and thumb arthritis. Dr. Fitzmaurice developed the patented EndoTech® surgical instrumentation system, and is one of the most sought after hand surgeons in the country.

Visit http://www.FitzHand.com/ for more.

The Fitzmaurice Hand Institute
19820 N 7th St #115
Phoenix, AZ 85024
(480) 351-6483
FitzInquiry(at)gmail(dot)com

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Risa Goldman
Goldman Marketing Group
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