Osteoarthritis in the hands of Michelangelo Buonarroti

Feb 08, 2016 702

Reviewing Michelangelo's portraits, various conclusions could be inferred in relation to his hands. First of all, it is important to recall that the images may support the claim of the Master's left-handedness. Moreover, the hypothesis of gouty arthritis of the hands as the main cause of the pain in his hand can be dismissed, mainly because no signs of inflammation and no tophi can be seen on his extremities.

More likely, his suffering may be due to a degenerative modification of the small joints of his hands which may be interpreted today as osteoarthritis. Obviously, this diagnosis cannot exclude the contribution of a metabolic disease causing nepholithiasis, a foot inflammation, or a deterioration of the small joints in his hands. 

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Source: http://www.salutedomani.com/

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