Tetany, as defined by Osler,1 is a peculiar bilateral spasm of the extremities either paroxysmal or continued. The fingers are bent at the metacarpophalangeal joint and extended at the terminal joints; pressed close together and the thumb contracted in the palm of the hand. The wrists are flexed and the elbows are bent. In the lower extremities the feet are extended and the toes adducted. The muscles of the face and neck are affected at times.
My observation corresponds to this description with one exception; i. e., the fingers are usually separated. I recognized this condition only eight years ago. I am sure it must have occurred many times before but the spasm, as such, went unobserved on my part. I probably considered the patient a nervous, hysterical individual and treated her as such.
In addition to the spasm described, which is always present in true tetany,
ROBERTS SE. TETANY FOLLOWING THE USE OF COCAINE AND EPINEPHRINE IN INTRANASAL OPERATIONSOBSERVATIONS AND TREATMENT: PRELIMINARY REPORT. JAMA. 1929;93(12):905-907. doi:10.1001/jama.1929.02710120017005