Hand or Finger Abnormalities
Congenital disorders of the hand are present at birth and occur when part or all of your baby’s hand does not develop appropriately during pregnancy.
Hand disorders are grouped based on the type of difference present, including:
- Problems with the development of the entire hand or arm
- Extra thumb or fingers
- Parts of the hand fail to separate properly
- Undergrown or overgrown hand, fingers or thumb
Although some congenital hand disorders are genetic, many are not hereditary and have no known cause. In most cases, they are not preventable and cannot be detected before birth.
Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook
Symptoms of congenital hand disorders vary from mild to serious, depending on their severity. Each type has distinct symptoms, including:
- Camptodactyly – bent finger that can't straighten
- Cleft hand – middle portion of the hand missing one or two fingers
- Club hand – hand that bends inward, small or no thumb
- Hypoplastic thumb – unformed or nonexistent thumb
- Polydactyly – extra fingers or thumb
- Symbrachydactyly – underdeveloped hand with missing fingers
- Syndactyly – fused or webbed fingers
- Trigger thumb – thumb locked in a bent position
Diagnosis of a congenital hand disorder generally occurs at birth. It starts with an early consultation and detailed examination from an orthopedic specialist to determine the extent of your child’s condition.
Other testing may include:
- Hand X-rays
- Advanced imaging, including MRI scan
- Genetic testing
The outlook for a congenital hand disorder varies according to the type and complexity of the condition. For some children, no intervention is needed. Others can be treated successfully with surgery, physical and occupational therapy or prosthetics.
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