What does a physical finding of the Froment sign suggest in ulnar neuropathy?

Updated: Jun 08, 2018
  • Author: Charles F Guardia, III, MD; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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Answer

The Froment sign is an observable sign that correlates with the complaint of a weakened ability to pinch normally between the first and second digits. This sign is sometimes elicited by asking the patient to grasp a piece of paper between the thumb and index finger. Ordinarily, the grasp is tight, and the patient makes heavy use of the adductor pollicis to adduct the thumb and the first dorsal interosseous muscle to move the index finger.

In addition to overt weakness of the pinch, the examiner also notes that the thumb flexes at the interphalangeal joint because the flexor pollicis longus activates in an attempt to compensate for the weakness. Thus, in addition to the weakness, the examiner sees flexion of the tip of the thumb.


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