Swan neck deformity

Case contributed by Ian Bickle
Diagnosis not applicable


For illustration purposes.


The inclined distinct appearance to a swans neck.

Case Discussion

The term swan neck deformity is used to describe a clinical and radiological appearance to the digits due to deformity, most classically, but not exclusively in rheumatoid arthritis.

The deformity consists of:

  • hyperextension of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints
  • compensatory flexion of the distal interphalangeal (DIP)  joints

Photograph courtesy of Mr Roger Bickle, Melton Mowbray, UK.

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