What is the Michon Classification Scheme for infectious flexor tenosynovitis?

Updated: Nov 22, 2019
  • Author: Mark R Foster, MD, PhD, FACS; Chief Editor: Harris Gellman, MD  more...
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Several drainage techniques can be used in infectious FT. The choice of method is based on the extent of the infection. The Michon classification scheme can be a helpful guide in surgical intervention (see Table 1 below).

Table 1. Michon Classification Scheme (Open Table in a new window)

Infection Stage

Characteristic Findings


Stage I

Increased fluid in sheath, mainly a serous exudate

Catheter irrigation

Stage II

Purulent fluid, granulomatous synovium

Minimal invasive drainage +/- indwelling catheter irrigation

Stage III

Necrosis of the tendon, pulleys, or tendon sheath

Extensive open débridement and possible amputation

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