Factors associated with the prevalence of incidental disease in the upper extremity


Coping ; incidental disease ; upper extremity

Published online: May 29 2020

Sjoerd Th. Meijer, Joost Strooker, Bart Lubberts, David Ring

From the Orthopaedic Hand and Upper Extremity Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, US


To learn more about the benefits of resiliency to upper limb health, we studied the null hypothesis that there is no difference in the prevalence of incidental disease between patients who seek care for an injury compared to those with a nontraumatic condition. Our secondary aim was to look for factors associated with incidental disease.

One hundred and sixty five patients provided their demographics and completed measures of psychological factors and upper extremity-specific symptoms and disability. A hand surgeon examined subjects for objective signs of incidental disease. Incidental disease was more common in patients with an injury. The only factor independently associated with incidental disease was older age.

The finding that incidental disease is more common in injured patients and more common with age supports the concept that common upper limb diseases are often undiagnosed and adequately adapted.

Prognostic, Level II