Vibration white finger: The original name for a painful and potentially disabling condition of the fingers, hands, and arms due to vibration. Known now preferably as the hand-arm vibration syndrome.
In this syndrome, there is initially a tingling sensation in the fingers with numbness. The fingers then become white and swollen when cold and then red and painful when warmed up again. Cold or wet weather may aggravate the condition. Picking up objects such as pins or nails becomes difficult as the feeling in the fingers diminishes and there is loss of strength and grip in the hands. The pain, tingling, and numbness in the arms, wrists and hands may interfere with sleep.
Sources of vibration that can cause the syndrome are very varied. They include pneumatic drills, jackhammers, asphalt breakers, power chain saws, chipping tools, concrete vibrators and levelers, needle guns and scabblers, polishers, power jigsaws, sanders and angle grinders, riveters, compactors, power lawnmowers and even electronic games in which the hand controls vibrate.
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Last Editorial Review: 1/24/2017