Heberden’s and Bouchard’s nodes both refer to bony prominences located in the finger joints. However, they are both in different locations and are both tested differently on the boards.
Heberden’s nodes are present in the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints, while Bouchard’s nodes are present in the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints.
Both Heberden’s and Bouchard’s nodes can be found in osteoarthritis. However, the presence of Bouchard’s nodes (with the absence of Heberden’s nodes) on a board question can help you in diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis.
This mnemonic will help you to remember the location of these nodes. If you see Heberden’s nodes think of osteoarthritis, and if you see Bouchard’s nodes think of rheumatoid arthritis.
Heberden’s nodes are Higher up on the finger.
Bouchard’s nodes are closer to the Body.
Bickley, Lynn S., Peter G. Szilagyi, and Barbara Bates. "The Musculoskeletal System." Bates' Pocket Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009. 284. Print.Poinier, Anne C., and Stanford M. Shoor. "Heberden's and Bouchard's Nodes." Arthritis Health Center. WebMd, 8 Apr. 2011. Web. 16 Sept. 2012. <http://arthritis.webmd.com/heberdens-and-bouchards-nodes>.