Metacarpophalangeal arthropathy associated with manual labor (Missouri metacarpal syndrome). Clinical radiographic, and pathologic characteristics of an unusual degeneration process.
We describe 7 manual laborers with painful, palpably enlarged metacarpophalangeal joints. Characteristic radiographic changes were joint space loss, prominent osteophytes, and cystic metacarpal heads most prominent in the second and third metacarpophalangeal joints. In 3 of 4 patients, joint biopsy specimens showed subsynovial fibrosis and villous hyperplasia. All 7 patients had similar backgrounds of heavy work demanding sustained gripping motions of both hands, for periods that exceeded 30 years. We designated their condition metacarpophalangeal arthropathy associated with manual labor.
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