IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Characterization of hypothenar hammer syndrome in workers using hand-held tools


Workers using vibrating tools are exposed to the risk of developing hypothenar hammer syndrome, a disease caused by thrombosis of the cubital artery, leading to a reduction in blood flow in the fingers. Located in the palm of the hand, this artery is insufficiently protected by muscles and therefore particularly vulnerable to impact and vibration, and thus to repeated hand trauma. The disease can be confused with other diseases or pass unnoticed since it manifests by the appearance of episodes of white finger, hand pain and intolerance to cold, symptoms similar to Raynaud’s phenomenon.

The aim of this study is to summarize the knowledge about hypothenar hammer syndrome and what differentiates it from vibration white finger, in order to subsequently produce tools for the prevention and early identification of symptoms of the disease, by occupational health professionals as well as by the workers themselves.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 0099-9070
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2015
  • Alice Turcot (Institut national de santé publique du Québec)
  • Pierre Marcotte (IRSST)
  • Marie Fortier (Institut national de santé publique du Québec)