Knuckle pads: Does knuckle cracking play an etiologic role?

Christopher M. Peterson, Cheryl J. Barnes, Loretta S Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Very little has been published on knuckle pads and the cosmetic and psychological effects they can have. In children, most knuckle pads are considered to be idiopathic; however, familial cases as well as those caused by trauma have been described. We report a 14-year-old African American girl with a 3-year history of slowly enlarging hyperkeratotic nodules over multiple finger joints and on the lateral aspects of several fingers. These lesions were initially confined to the patient's left hand but subsequently involved the right hand. The patient and her mother denied any unusual hobbies or sports in which the patient's fingers might be traumatized. The patient, however, was noted to crack her knuckles during her clinic visit. To the mother's surprise, the patient admitted to doing this quite frequently on a daily basis. A diagnosis of knuckle pads was made and confirmed histologically. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of knuckle pads with cracking of the knuckles as the possible etiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-452
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Dermatology


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