CONGENITAL HAND ANOMALIES


What are congenital hand anomalies?

Congenital hand anomalies refer to a rather rare group of conditions of the hand where a child is born with abnormal hands. “Congenital” refers to any condition that the child is born with, as opposed to being acquired later in life. A common example of a congenital skeletal limb anomaly would be clubfeet (1/1000 births). Congenital hand anomalies are much, comprising only 10% of all congenital birth defects. The spectrum can vary from an extra digit to the total absence of a part of the upper limb. These hand disorders can present as an isolated anomaly, like syndactyly (fused or webbed fingers) or in association with a systemic syndrome-like Poland syndrome (webbed and short fingers with the absent sternocostal head of the pectoralis major muscle). In certain malformations that affect the thumb side of the forearm and the hand (radial longitudinal deficiencies), there may be an association with multiple other abnormalities called the VACTERL complex.

We do not understand the cause of all these congenital hand anomalies, but we do have a better understanding of the development of the limb bud in utero. At around eight weeks, the limb bud develops very quickly, and it is typically during this period that abnormalities arise.

Irrespective of the extent of the anomaly, we understand that parents have to deal with significant emotional issues and challenging decisions.

How are congenital hand anomalies treated?

Congenital hand anomalies treatment depends entirely on the hand deformity your child has. The main goal and benefits of treatment is to improve your child’s ability to function with the abnormality. Another goal is to improve the appearance of your child’s hand and help support and boost your child’s self-esteem. Congenital hand anomalies treatment may include:

  • Using a splint or cast
  • Stretching
  • Physical therapy to increase strength and functionality
  • Prosthetics, if there are missing parts or bones
  • Surgery

Rehabilitation post-surgery:

When your child's hand anomaly is an isolated occurrence, surgery brings about good benefits. In most cases, children may learn to adapt to change.



CONGENITAL HAND ANOMALIES


What are congenital hand anomalies?

Congenital hand anomalies refer to a rather rare group of conditions of the hand where a child is born with abnormal hands. “Congenital” refers to any condition that the child is born with, as opposed to being acquired later in life. A common example of a congenital skeletal limb anomaly would be clubfeet (1/1000 births). Congenital hand anomalies are much, comprising only 10% of all congenital birth defects. The spectrum can vary from an extra digit to the total absence of a part of the upper limb. These hand disorders can present as an isolated anomaly, like syndactyly (fused or webbed fingers) or in association with a systemic syndrome-like Poland syndrome (webbed and short fingers with the absent sternocostal head of the pectoralis major muscle). In certain malformations that affect the thumb side of the forearm and the hand (radial longitudinal deficiencies), there may be an association with multiple other abnormalities called the VACTERL complex.

We do not understand the cause of all these congenital hand anomalies, but we do have a better understanding of the development of the limb bud in utero. At around eight weeks, the limb bud develops very quickly, and it is typically during this period that abnormalities arise.

Irrespective of the extent of the anomaly, we understand that parents have to deal with significant emotional issues and challenging decisions.

How are congenital hand anomalies treated?

Congenital hand anomalies treatment depends entirely on the hand deformity your child has. The main goal and benefits of treatment is to improve your child’s ability to function with the abnormality. Another goal is to improve the appearance of your child’s hand and help support and boost your child’s self-esteem. Congenital hand anomalies treatment may include:

  • Using a splint or cast
  • Stretching
  • Physical therapy to increase strength and functionality
  • Prosthetics, if there are missing parts or bones
  • Surgery

Rehabilitation post-surgery:

When your child's hand anomaly is an isolated occurrence, surgery brings about good benefits. In most cases, children may learn to adapt to change.



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