Knuckle pads – a rare finding

Giorgio Tamborrini, Michael Gengenbacher, Stefano Bianchi

Affiliation and address for correspondence
J Ultrason 2012; 12 (51): 493–498

Knuckle pads are rare harmless subcutaneous nodules that must be differentiated from joint disease of the proximal interphalangeal or rarely of the metacarpophalangeal joints as well as from other masses of the paraarticular tissues. We present a case of an otherwise
healthy 36-year-old woman presenting with bilateral knuckle pads located at the dorsal aspect of the proximal interphalangeal joints. No predisposition to a specific musculoskeletal disorder was noted. Ultrasound revealed well-delimited subcutaneous hypoechoic masses without internal flow signals at color Doppler. Histology showed proliferation of myofibroblasts with a decrease of elastic filaments in the deep dermis. The clinical picture, the family history in addition to the histology allowed us to make the diagnosis of knuckle pads. We present the ultrasound findings of knuckle pads and discuss the differential diagnosis of a “swelling” in the dorsal region of proximal interphalangeal joints and metacarpophalangeal joints.

knuckle pads, nodules, joints, Dupuytren’s disease, musculoskeletal system, ultrasound