Friday, December 22, 2006


I've been scouring major online information sources to gauge the frequency of entries for congenital limb differences -- particularly those that affect the hand. Came across this Wikipedia entry on Polydactyly (which means that an extra digit is present on the hand or foot). The rates of occurrence were higher than I would have expected -- about 1 in 500 births.

"the frequency varies greatly from population to population. It is higher in some groups (an example is the Amish in the United States) due to the founder effect.

The entry includes six photos of variations of the condition -- four of which are x-rays. The explanation is followed by several lists including one that details real and fictional characters who were affected by Polydactyly.

Given the familiarity many have with resources like Wikipedia, I hope that we'll see more entries specific to congenital limb differences. And if specific entries don't exist, I hope savvy parents, relatives and friends will take the time to create new entries so that those looking for information in the future can find it more easily.

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