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Smartphone Pinky: Fact or Fiction?


Texting, tweeting, emailing – these days, smartphones have become part of our lives, and practically everyone has a one in their purse, pocket, or hand. But could the constant use of your smartphone be changing the way your hand looks? Despite claims of people suffering from “smartphone pinky,” experts in the field of hand surgery don’t seem to think so. 

In recent years, several people have described experiencing a deformity of their pinky finger due to excessive cell phone use. This strange phenomenon, known as smartphone pinky, is becoming common, with pictures of pinky fingers indented or bent in strange ways posted all over social media. Several hand surgeons have commented on the topic and disputed the evidence. They argue that these deformities could be due to underlying conditions or may just be temporary effects of cell phone use. Others suggest that smartphone pinky may be a temporary finger position that goes away over time, once the person stops holding their phone in the same position. 

Some conditions that could cause problems with fingers include:

  • Clinodactyly, a congenital condition that causes either fingers or toes to curve
  • Repetitive Strain Syndrome, caused by repeated actions that lead to stress on different parts of the body
  • Dupuytren’s contracture, a disorder that leads to bending of the fingers caused by abnormal tissues.

Even though smartphone pinky may not be a real condition, there still may be negative effects from keeping your hand glued to your phone. Holding your arm in one position for long periods can cause strain on your arms, fingers, and elbows. Over time, this stress could even lead to nerve damage. 

If you think you might have smartphone pinky or something of the sorts, you may want to consider changing your device usage. If the problem persists, it may be time to consult with your doctor.

Conditions & Treatments