OSTEOARTHRITIS involving all interphalangeal joints but confined to one hand is unusual. Previous reports have described the failure of Heberden's nodes to develop in the paralyzed hand in hemiplegia, peripheral nerve injury,1 and polio.2 The unilateral osteoarthritis in the case presented here appeared only in the hand that had been severely frostbitten seven years earlier.
Report of a Case
This patient, a 39-year-old white man, was admitted to the USAF Hospital Travis on March 9, 1964, for retirement evaluation of arthritis.In 1944 the patient had sustained a frostbite injury to both hands while flying in a B-24. At the time he was 18 years of age. The left hand was minimally frostbitten and only slight peeling followed but the right hand was severely involved with much pain, and rapidly developed blisters and blackening of the skin. All changes were predominantly in the fingers and extended to the
Schumacher HR. Unilateral Osteoarthritis of the Hand. JAMA. 1965;191(3):246–247. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080030090019