Claw hand is the most common deformity in leprosy:

  • It is due to paralysis of the intrinsic muscles hand which is innervated by the median and/or ulnar nerves.
  • Leads to hyperextension of MCP (metacarophalangeal) joints and flexion of the IP (interphalangeal) joints.


Management consists of occupational therapy and/or reconstruction surgery.

Case Report

In this case report from Indonesia the authors report a 32 year old male with hyperesthetic red plaques and punched out lesions on the arms and legs:

  • Once diagnosed, he was treated with MDT (multi-drug treatment) and reeducation
  • sensory reeducation: introducing hands into objects (circle, square), texture (rough, smooth) and handling of other known objects
  • occupational therapy (manipulating objects)Reeducation consisted of Result was subjective improvement reported by the patient on day 29: “decrease in stiffness and movement difficulty 2nd finger left hand and 5th finger right hand”.

Conclusion: although reeducation is possible, prevention is better and this consists of treating Hansen’s at its early stages.

Source of Information: Yuwita W – Claw Hand in Mild Borderline Leprosy Treated with Sensory Re-education. 2014 (4) – 21st Regional Conference of Dermatology; Danang (Vietnam)