The European Hand Surgery Center

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The European Hand Surgery Center
Main page / Diseases / Congenital defects of hands

Congenital defects of hands

What is it?

Wrong structure of the hand in an infant connected with wrong fetal development.


There are many causes for development of congenital defects: genetic factor (family occurrence of certain deformations), external factors having impact on the development of fetus. Very often it is impossible to determine explicitly the reason for development of a given defect.


Congenital defects can be simple or complex. They may concern one, a few fingers or the defect can cover deformation of the hand, wrist, forearm, arm. It happens that the entire limb is not properly formed during the embryogenesis.

The most frequent defects:

  • Polydactylism – additional fingers
  • Syndactylia – finger fusion

Examination, diagnosis and treatment

Examination of a child with a congenital defect of the hand or upper limb should be carried out by a surgeon of the hand or a surgeon who has experience in such cases. Wrong and too early diagnosis and incorrect treatment initiated by an inexperienced physician may result in worsening of functioning of the hand in successive years of the Patient’s life.

For a newborn baby its hand is perfect and the best, therefore the more thought must be devoted to the planned treatment. Parents should understand that “improvement by force” of mother Nature is not always

the best solution for their child. All variants, stages of treatment should be discussed in detail with the surgeon planning the treatment – particularly it is a surgical operation.

Follow up

Continual control is necessary with the surgeon supervising treatment and continuation of rehabilitation.

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