Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome

The The Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome was formerly known as vibration white finger or dead finger. It is regarded as a secondary form of Raynaud's Syndrome.

The Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome is an mostly industrial injury triggered by continuous use of vibrating hand-held machinery, such as power drills, chainsaws, pneumatic drills, etc.
Continued exposure to the hand arm vibrations can result in various levels of symptoms in bloodvessels and/or muscles of fingers, hands or forearms[1]. The symptoms can be tingling 'whiteness' or numbness in the fingers, and fingers change colour or loss of manual dexterity.

The symptoms may last up to an hour causing considerable pain and loss of manual dexterity and reduced grip strength. However, if the vibrations continue over long periods of time, the numbness may become permanent and progressive[2]. This in turn can lead to mucle weakness and wasting.

[1] Rolke et al: Hand-arm vibration syndrome: clinical characteristics, conventional electrophysiology and quantitative sensory testing in Clinical Neurophysiology – 2013
[2] Heaver: Hand-arm vibration syndrome: a common occupational hazard in industrialized countries in Journal of Hand Surgery - 2011

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