Syndactyly – Fingers That Fail to Separate in the Womb

 

Syndactyly pic
Syndactyly
Image: medscape.com

Dr. Bobby Chhabra is a longtime hand surgeon who holds responsibilities with the University of Virginia Health System as endowed chair of orthopedic surgery. Dr. Bobby Chhabra has a particular professional interest in congenital hand deformities, which present themselves in infants from birth and range from thumb duplication to syndactyly.

Also known as webbed fingers, syndactyly involves two or more fingers not separating while the baby is developing in the womb. Typically an issue of the ring and middle fingers, the condition is characterized as a complete syndactyly when the fingers are totally fused. In other cases, the fingers may be characterized as incomplete syndactyly, as they are only partially fused.

Another type of the condition known as complex syndactyly extends the digit fusion to more fingers. This relatively rare condition is most common in Caucasian children and is twice as prevalent in boys as girls. Webbed fingers may also be an attribute of symbrachydactyly, which involves hand underdevelopment and includes missing or small fingers.

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