Work-Related Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome
Hand-arm vibration syndrome is a collection of vascular, neurological, and musculoskeletal effects that develop as a result of repeated exposure to vibrating hand tools. This can result in occupational Raynaud's phenomenon or occlusive arterial thrombosis. Damage to the vessel wall can lead to arterial spasm, aneurysm formation, and emboli.
Hypothenar Hammer Syndrome
Hypothenar hammer syndrome is a form of hand-arm vibration syndrome. It is an occupational occlusive arterial disease and ulnar artery thrombosis. This injury occurs after repeated exposure to vibration or repetitive trauma to the hypothenar eminence because it is used as a "hammer." This causes the hook of the hamate to compress the superficial palmar branch of the ulnar artery. This can eventually lead to stenosis or occlusion of the ulnar artery. It is seen in workers in mining, forestry, automotive repair, and construction fields, most often occurring unilaterally in the dominant hand.18 Patients may present with cold fingers, pain, numbness, or ulcerations. In severe cases, the fingers may become ischemic and eventually gangrenous. The incidence has been reported to be between 1.6% to 7.3% in workers exposed to vibration.19”