Health and Fitness

4 Congenital Hand Deformities

A congenital hand deformity is an anomaly in the form or function of the hand that is present from birth. Congenital hand deformities have different causes and can range in severity. Some are so minor that you might not even notice until a doctor points it out to you. Others are very prominent and can have a debilitating effect on the ability to move and use the hand. A child with a congenital hand deformity should see a hand surgeon Houston as soon as possible.

  1. Macrodactyly or Microdactyly

Sometimes one or more of the fingers is abnormally overgrown, which is a condition called macrodactyly. Microdactyly is the opposite, in which one or more fingers are abnormally short, or sometimes absent altogether.

  1. Polydactyly

Polydactyly occurs when a finger is duplicated, resulting in one more appendage on the hand than there is supposed to be. In most cases, this condition affects the small finger of the hand

  1. Syndactyly

While a baby is developing in the womb, the bones and tissues of the hands separate into fingers. Sometimes they do not separate completely, resulting in syndactyly, or two fingers that are fused together. This sort of deformity can run in families. Syndactyly can be either complex or simple. If it is complex, the bones of the fingers are fused together. However, if it is only the tissues of the fingers that are fused together, that is an example of simple syndactyly.

  1. Contracture

Contracture is similar to syndactyly in that it involves a failure of the tissues to separate. However, in this instance, it is not the fingers that are fused together. Rather, it is the inability of the fingers to extend and the hand to open. Problems with the skin or muscles are often responsible for contractures, which may involve the whole hand or only one finger.

It can be difficult for a child with a hand deformity to interact with his or her environment. However, it may be possible to restore function through prosthetics or reconstructive surgery.