Thursday, December 7, 2006 Congenital Hand Deformities

I just came across what appears to be a pretty comprehensive article on congenital hand deformities at While this is a medical article and written for a medical audience (which disqualifies me from commenting on it authoritatively) -- it does have some helpful facts about the rates of occurrence and also details treatment options for each specific condition. Some of the interesting facts include:

  • A 20-year study in New York gave the incidence of congenital hand deformities as 1 in 626 (Conway, 1956). Regional and ethnic differences exist. Camptodactyly, syndactyly, and polydactyly are the most common abnormalities. Other studies give the incidence as 0.7%.
  • Only 5% of congenital hand anomalies occur as part of a recognized syndrome.

The article separates the conditions into 7 categories or types. Type 1 is Failure of Formation which is what my daughter is currently diagnosed as. More specifically she's in the subcategory: "Transverse arrest at the carpal, metacarpal, and phalangeal level."

Of personal interest in the explanation of this subcategory is that the article notes that "these are often difficult to distinguish from constriction band syndromes or as part of a cleft hand." Which would mean that both the initial diagnoses we received from doctors in Omaha could be understood given their lack of familiarity with the condition.

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