Kanavel's sign is a clinical sign found in patients with infection of a flexor tendon sheath in the hand (flexor tenosynovitis), a serious condition which can cause rapid loss of function of the affected finger.
The sign consists of four components:
- the affected finger is held in slight flexion.
- there is fusiform swelling over the affected tendon.
- there is tenderness over the affected tendon.
- there is pain on passive extension of the affected finger.
The sign is named after Allen B. Kanavel.
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