• Friday February 28,2020

Achenbach syndrome

Achenbach syndrome is a hematoma on the hand or in the area of ​​the fingers. Very rarely, a hematoma develops in the toe or foot area. However, the Achenbach syndrome often occurs very suddenly and without any drastic reason. The syndrome is also referred to as finger apoplexy, paroxysmal hand hematoma or paroxysmal finger hematoma.

What is the Achenbach syndrome?

Achenbach syndrome is a hematoma on the hand or in the area of ​​the fingers.

In Achenbach syndrome, named after the discoverer and the Cologne internist dr. Walter Achenbach, the hematomas typically occur on the fingers or on the hands. Women are struck by statistics a bit more often than men.

Again, it can be seen that older women and middle-aged women are more often affected than young women, teenagers or girls. In rare cases, not the hands are affected by the Achenbach syndrome, but the feet and toes. The unusual thing about Achenbach syndrome is that the painful bruises appear for no apparent reason and very suddenly.

Because unlike natural hematomas, which are caused for example by external influences, these are not present in the finger apoplexy. So there are clearly visible and noticeable symptoms, but no comprehensible cause. Therefore one speaks here also of paroxysmal (to German spontaneous) hematomas.


The actual causes of Achenbach syndrome are unknown. Meanwhile, however, it is strongly suspected that the hematomas are often triggered by a local vascular weakness, by damage to the vessel walls, by narrowed vessels or by hormonal and / or neurovegetative fluctuations and disorders.

Especially hormonal fluctuations could be a probable cause, since statistically very many menopausal women complain of Achenbach syndrome. It should be added that most of the hematomas are not of a single appearance.

Often, these often occur at the same complaint points. This in turn suggests weakened vessels. Slight bumps or trivial external influences can also act here and result in a corresponding spontaneous hematoma.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

In Achenbach syndrome bruises on the fingers and inner surfaces of the hands and on the feet and toes. The hematomas are usually accompanied by stinging pain, which increase with pressure. In addition, there is a slight discoloration of the skin at the affected site. The area around the bruises usually swells and turns blue in the further course, similar to natural hematomas.

Some patients have psychosomatic symptoms. This can lead to a feeling of coldness or pain during movements that are initially due to no cause. In general, patients experience a relatively strong malaise in Achenbach syndrome, which increases in intensity as the disease progresses.

The discomfort spreads from the fingers and toes to the arms and legs and can affect large parts of the body in the absence of treatment. In severe cases, movement may be restricted due to bruising and associated pain. Furthermore, the Achenbach syndrome can cause overheating of the limbs. Accompanying this are a number of other symptoms such as fever, chills and dizziness.

Diagnosis & History

In most cases, the Achenbach syndrome is characterized by a slight pressure pain and subtle discoloration of the skin noticeable. This is followed by a slight swelling and a bluish discoloration, as we usually know from natural hematomas (such as bruises or bumps).

The difference here is that for the most part there is no apparent cause. Sometimes, patients also complain of cold feelings and very often about exercise pain and local pain. These are often due to the swelling and bruising.

The diagnosis is made by an extensive examination of the affected body site by a specialist (for example by an internist). As a rule, the disease is as spontaneous and rapid as it has occurred. Often, the apparent injury heals within a few days and the swelling and hematoma recede.


From a medical point of view, the Achenbach syndrome is a harmless disease, which is accompanied by only harmless symptoms such as pressure, slight swelling, feeling cold and a bluish discoloration of the palm or fingers. Complications are unknown in the course of this disease, as the symptoms usually disappear as quickly as they occurred.

The concomitant symptoms are comparable to a classic hematoma, with the difference that in this case, no apparent injury is recognizable. The Achenbach syndrome can be very painful, but in many cases, these symptoms are only slightly pronounced. By restraining and immobilizing the affected hand or finger is usually achieved a significant improvement.

Even cool envelopes and ointments, which help against swelling and pain, can relieve the symptoms in a short time and favor the healing process positively. Overloading and premature over-exertion should be avoided, as Achenbach syndrome can also be caused by weak vessels or labile vascular walls, leading to hematoma-like bruising.

However, if this condition occurs repeatedly, consult a specialist, preferably an internist, to help diagnose the condition. Not infrequently, another cause of the complaints can be. Often, middle-aged women, who are generally prone to weak vascular walls as well as hormonal and neurovegetative disorders, are affected by this condition.

When should you go to the doctor?

The Achenbach syndrome does not necessarily have to be examined and treated. As a rule, the syndrome occurs after a stroke or after an accident and is a common complaint. Normally, the Achenbach syndrome heals by itself without complications. If the pain is not too severe, no medical treatment is necessary.

Swelling and bruising also occur. If the pain is extremely severe, the hospital can also be visited directly. The affected person should cool the respective spot and not move or press. Even painkillers can be taken temporarily. However, a doctor should consult the person affected if it comes to Achenbach syndrome for no particular reason or if the Achenbach syndrome occurs more often, without it has come to an injury or an accident. In this case, it may be another underlying disease that needs to be identified and treated to prevent consequential damage.

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Treatment & Therapy

The treatment of an Achenbach syndrome is usually based on the same principle that is followed even with a natural hematoma. By cooling, ointments and knitted protection of the affected body part one achieves that the Achenbach syndrome returns.

Furthermore, during the healing phase you should avoid heavy burdens and immobilize the affected hand or foot as much as possible. This is especially important in an apoplexy, as it may have been caused by a weak or damaged vessel.

Premature overexertions or stress could slow down healing or even aggravate the symptoms. Incidentally, the Achenbach syndrome is regarded as a harmless disease. Nevertheless one should consider with more frequent symptoms and outbreaks more exact treatments and investigations to finding causes.

Outlook & Forecast

By the Achenbach syndrome it comes primarily to various complaints on the fingers. The fingers are especially affected by stinging and burning pain. Furthermore, there are often bruises on the inside of the hand and on the fingers themselves.

In most cases, the fingers are swollen and it comes to severe pain. This pain can occur in the form of rest pain or pain in movement and thereby significantly burden the daily life of the person concerned. Certain movements and activities in the everyday life of the patient are therefore usually no longer readily possible.

Not always a treatment of the Achenbach syndrome is necessary. Usually, the symptoms disappear after about a day and there are no special complaints or complications. The life expectancy is not affected by the Achenbach syndrome.

If the pain on the fingers and hands over a longer period, they can also lead to depression or other mental health problems.


The Achenbach syndrome can counteract only very conditionally. If it is known that one suffers from weak vessels or labile vessel walls, this should be taken into account as best as possible. On the one hand, activities that could lead to complaints should be avoided as much as possible. On the other hand, the affected hand, the affected finger or even the affected toe should immediately calm down and cool extensively at the first symptoms.


In most cases, the Achenbach syndrome no possibilities of follow-up are possible. It is a hereditary disease that can therefore only be treated symptomatically and not causally. The affected person is usually dependent on a lifelong treatment.

Furthermore, a hereditary consultation may be useful if there is a wish for a child. Thus, the transmission of the syndrome to the children can be prevented. The exact treatment of this syndrome depends on the doctor and the severity of the malformations. In some cases, these malformations are treated by plastic surgery.

After such surgery, the person should rest and spare his body as possible. In doing so strenuous activities or sports activities are to be avoided in order to protect the body and accelerate the healing process. However, a complete cure of the Achenbach syndrome can not be achieved.

In some cases, the life expectancy of the patient is significantly reduced by the syndrome. Furthermore, the loving care by relatives and friends has a very positive effect on the course of the disease, and the contact with other victims may be useful, since it comes to an exchange of information.

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