Congenital Hand Deformities

Congenital anomalies are hand or finger deformities that are present at birth. Any type of deformity in a newborn can become a challenge for the child as they grow.

Hand deformities can be particularly disabling as the child learns to interact with the environment through the use of his or her hands. The degree of deformity varies from a minor deformity, such as unequal or uneven fingers or thumb deformity, to a severe deformity, such as total absence of a bone.


Depending on the type and extent of a hand malformation, some babies may have little trouble adapting and functioning well. Others, however may face various challenges as they grow and learn:

  • Developmental problems such as delayed or deficient motor skills.
  • Difficulties with activities of daily living activities and basic self-care skills
  • Limitations on certain types of exercises and sports
  • Potential emotional and social harm from childhood teasing about appearance

Treatment Procedure:

Early consultation with a plastic surgeon is an important part of the treatment process for the child born with a hand deformity. Even if reconstructive surgery is not possible, there are many different types of prosthetic devices that can be used to increase function.

If child is functioning well and is happy, treatment is not always necessary. If a child is having difficulty doing the things he or she wants to do because of a hand malformation, treatment options may be available.

Different types of congenital hand deformities-

  • Syndactyly
  • Polydactyly
  • Macrodactyly
  • Radial club hand
  • Constriction ring syndrome.

Treatment Options:

The most important goal of any treatment for hand malformations is to help a child function as independently as possible. Your pediatrician will often provide referrals to plastic surgeons. Treatment may involve:

  • Orthotics (splints or braces)
  • Prosthetics (artificial limbs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery