A congenital hand deformity is a birth defect in the hand that occurs when the fetus does not develop properly in utero. These abnormalities can vary in severity. While some may not effect function, others can hinder the continued hand development as the child gets older and limit their mobility. Often a very upsetting discovery for parents, many congenital hand deformities can be effectively corrected through surgical treatment from our hand reconstructive surgeons.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, the upper limbs are formed, and as the arms and hands grow, there are several steps required to create their normal shape and function. If there is a problem at any point in this process, a hand deformity can occur. Potential abnormalities may be genetic, while others have an unknown cause. Ongoing research has been dedicated to learning what may cause these complications.
Some deformities may be more obvious than others. If there is any question over the form or function of your child’s hand, you should consult with a qualified professional to confirm a diagnosis and move forward with determining the best form of treatment.
Our skilled surgical team can perform hand reconstruction surgery starting at infancy to correct deformities and help ensure proper growth. Common hand deformities that can be present at birth include:
Two or more fingers that are webbed or fused together
Fingers that are abnormally short or deformed
One or more missing or extra fingers
Nerves, blood vessels, or tendons not functioning properly
In the case of fused fingers, the effected tissue can be separated, and a skin graft is used to cover the exposed treatment site. Depending on your child’s specific deformity, they may need hand therapy to improve their mobility.
We understand that congenital hand deformities can be difficult for parents to process, which is why our experienced team is committed to helping correct your child’s cosmetic or functional problems so they can lead a normal life. If you would like more information about hand deformities present at birth, please feel free to contact us to set up an appointment.