Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Orthopedics Forum

Crooked Fingers (pictures included) - Please Help!

Over the past few years my fingers have been becoming very crooked.

I put together this photo album to illustrate what it happening: imgur.com/a/9JwEH



I have always had a nervous habit of cracking my knuckles, but my fingers are becoming very deformed it appears. I am only 29 years old. Is it possible I have some sort of arthritis? My pinky finger is the worst and it makes it more difficult to type on a keyboard. Also, the index fingers are rotating towards the middle finger. I am very self conscious about this and am worried it will only get worse. I am constantly looking around at peoples hands to see if anyone else's are like mine, but everyone else seems to have normal fingers. I haven't been able to find much good info by googling this. Any information would be appreciated.
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replied January 17th, 2013
Especially eHealthy
crookedfingersbad.

First, let me say, that contrary to what all of our mothers have told us, cracking your knuckles will not cause any deformity or future arthritis in the hands.


In looking at your hands, yes, you do have a slight inturning of your index fingers, which would be called a clinodactyly. Which is just a big word meaning "curved finger". It most commonly occurs in the small finger, but can occur in any digit. In a finger with a very sharp curvature, it is always concerning that the patient might have a deformity called a "delta" phalanx. This is where one of the phalanges (finger bones) is shaped like a triangle (a delta) rather than a rectangle. This can be a sign of a deformity in the growth plate of that phalanx. Clinodactyly is a condition where the finger curves from side to side.

(There is also a condition called camptodactyly, which just means "bent finger". In this condition, the finger is flexed down more than usual. Again, this is most common in the small finger.)

But, sometimes a curve, is just a curve. Many people have a slightly curved finger. As long as the patient has no problems with the digit, it is nothing to worry about, nothing that needs to be treated.


Also, your small finger is actually very normal. The human hand normally has what is called a cascade of the fingers. If a line is drawn through the fingernails and continued on out, if the fingers are flexed down loosely (like making a loose fist) these lines would travel though the base of the thumb (where a bone called the scaphoid lives). So, again, it is normal for the small finger to curve inward more than the index finger.

Again, as long as you do not have any problems making a fist or using your hands in any way, there is nothing wrong with them, nothing that needs to be treated.

If you Google "natural cascade of the fingers" you should be able to get a picture from a textbook, which will show the natural way the fingers curve.


Again, yes you do have a little clindodactyly of your index fingers, but as long as you do not have any functional problems with the fingers, they really do not need to be treated.


In hand surgery, it is taught that the function of the fingers is most important, not how they look. No hand surgeon will do surgery on the fingers, which is totally cosmetic in nature. You never want to jeopardize the function of a hand, to make them look a little better.

However, if you concerned about your hands, make an appointment with a hand surgeon for an evaluation.

Good luck.
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replied November 3rd, 2014
Gaelic gave a wonderful explanation. Two things that you might be checked for, crookedfingersbad, is both rheumatoid arthritis and also Marfan's Syndrome. I have clinodactyly in my pinkies and my forefingers; my great aunt had rheumatoid arthritis and my grandfather actually died from Marfan's. (Dissected aorta)
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replied April 20th, 2015
My fingers look EXACTLY like that and i'm only 12 years old!! That kind of scares me, does it mean something bad?
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replied May 17th, 2015
IM 12 TOO AND MY FINGERS ARE BENT!!!!!!
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replied May 17th, 2015
but will it worsen if i dont crack my knuckles because i play ps3 but i stopped cracking
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replied March 12th, 2016
It's not THAT noticeable
I heard cracking your fingers can deform the hands.. (especially thickening of the joints) It's the sound of bones/air bubble rubbing against each other or something so it gradually wears down some tissue in the finger. Anyway it's just extra wear and tear on the hands. My right fingers started to become crooked because I kept squeezing on an object every night, so I imagine habitually cracking the fingers can gradually cause the fingers to be misaligned too.
I'd say it's true regardless of what scientists/doctors say because there's so much anecdotal evidence.. Scientists and doctors don't know everything, they just act like they know everything.
It's like how ophthalmologists and optometrists still claim that glasses don't speed up the progression of myopia but glasses can speed up the progression of myopia in some people if used improperly. Glasses can also hinder the growth of the nose bridge for some people if they start wearing glasses from a very young age. Glasses can also cause some people to go cross-eyed because of the set PD.
But there could be other reasons for crooked fingers too but I'm just saying cracking the fingers is probably not a good habit.
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