Birth Defects of the Hands


Abnormalities of the hand that a child is born with can interfere with the growth and use of the hand. With modern surgical techniques, most of these defects can be correct early - sometimes in infancy and in other cases before the age of three.


There are different types of birth defects that affect the hand. One of the most common is syndactyly, in which two or more fingers are fused together. Other common defects include short, missing or deformed fingers, tendons that don't move or abnormal nerves or blood vessels

Causes and Risk Factors

It is not known what causes these defects. There may be an inherited element or it may be the result of something that happened during the baby's development before birth.


Most birth defects of the hands are easy to see and identify. Patterns of how the baby uses its hands may also point to an underlying problem with tendons.


The is designed to hand the delicate and precise surgery that is frequently needed to correct these types of birth defects.

In the case of syndactyly, the surgeon may not only have to separate tissue to separate the fused fingers, he or she may also have to separate bones, if they also are fused. Additionally, skin grafts may be needed to cover the areas that had been fused.

Surgery can also treat and make significant improvements in other types of defects such as short, missing or deformed fingers, immobile tendons and abnormal nerves or blood vessels.

© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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