CONGENITAL flexion deformities of the fingers are not common, and yet Maurer1 in 1938 described 31 cases, 21 of which were found in the examination of 6,000 school children. Congenital flexion deformity of the fifth finger seen late in life has often been mistakenly diagnosed as Dupuytren's contracture. Few articles on camptodactyly have appeared in the British or American medical journals in recent years, although as far back as 1885 von Landouzy had described the condition of bent fingers. For that reason, a brief survey of the present status of knowledge of camptodactyly is not amiss.
Whitman,2 in his textbook on orthopedic surgery, suggested the term hammer finger for congenital contraction of the fingers. More recent writers seem to have preferred the term camptodactyly. This is derived from the Greek words [ill] meaning bent, and [ill] meaning finger. This term would apply to all flexion deformities of any