Alternative names: Clubbing, Nail Clubbing, Clubbed Nails, Clubbing of the Fingers, Clubbing of the Toes, Digital Clubbing.
Clubbed fingers (or, more rarely, clubbed toes) are not a disease in themselves, but often a symptom of disease.
Although nail clubbing is not always diagnostically significant, it is often an indicator of serious underlying disease.
Digital clubbing appears to be present in roughly 1% of the population, though precise figures are unavailable.
The main causes of clubbed fingers are generally conditions involving the heart and/or lungs that cause chronically low blood levels of oxygen, and conditions that cause malabsorption. These include:
Clubbed fingers or toes usually develop over a period of weeks to years, depending on the underlying cause. Asthma does not lead to clubbed fingers.
Clubbing is a widening of the ends of the fingers (or toes) after the last (distal) joint. The affected nails are widened and usually exhibit increased curvature.
Clubbing usually affects all fingers or toes of a hand or foot, but may only affect one or a few digits. Onset is often very gradual, and patients are often unaware of it. It is usually painless.
Clubbing is easily diagnosed: it is a clinical finding characterized by tapered, bulbous enlargement of the distal portion (end) of a finger or toe. The nail moves more freely, with a 'spongy' feeling when it is pressed down.
Clubbing may resolve on its own once the underlying disease condition has been remedied.
Most of the underlying conditions that cause clubbing are serious, and seeing a doctor for early diagnosis and treatment may improve your chances.
Chronic hepatitis C can cause nail clubbing.
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