Congenital deformities are abnormalities that are present at birth. These deformities grow with the child and becomes a challenge. The severity of the deformity may vary accordingly. There can be minor and major deformities. Seeking treatment as early as possible is suggested as it is important to treat the issue fast. Otherwise, your child may find it difficult to have a normal life.
There are different classifications and types of hand deformities. According to American Society for Surgery of the Hand, there are seven groups of hand deformity. They are:
- Problems in the development of parts: This happens when parts of the body stop developing while the baby is in the womb. Such issues may cause complete absence of a part of the body, a missing structure, or a part of the bone. These types are again classified into two:
- Radial Clubhand
- Ulnar Clubhand
Surgery is not always recommended in cases of a complete missing part. The doctor will suggest to use prosthetic devices in the early childhood itself.
- Failure of the parts of the finger to separate: The parts of the finger fail to separate in the womb. It may either be the bone or the tissue. There are two types of deformities under this classification. They are:
- Simple syndactyly and
- Complex syndactyly
These kinds of deformities normally affect males than females.
- Contractures of the hand: This is another deformity in which the fingers fail to separate. It results from the failure of the cells to differentiate in utero. Abnormal pulling forward of the hand digits are usually known as contractures. Congenital triggering comes under this classification. Most of the contractors improve on their own. If required, surgery will be done only after the age of 3.
- Duplications of the digits: It is also known as polydactyly. Mostly, it affects the little finger. Polydactyly is about three degrees:
- Type 1
- Type 2
- Type 3
These kinds of deformities cause people to have an extra digit.
- Undergrowth of digits: There are many congenital deformities that cause underdeveloped fingers or thumbs. These kinds of deformities mostly require surgeries to correct them.
- Overgrowth of digits: It is also known as macrodactyly. These kinds of deformities cause abnormally large digit. It is most common among males when compared to females. The index finger will be involved in most of the cases. Amputation will be recommended in certain cases.
- Congenital constriction band syndrome: This occurs when a ring takes shape around a finger or arm, causing problems that can prevent blood flow and normal development. This condition may be linked to other issues such as clubfoot, cleft lip, cleft palate, or other craniofacial anomalies. The cause of the ring constrictions is not yet found. Some theories suggest that amniotic banding may lead to ring constrictions around a digit or arm. There are four degrees of severity with this condition.
There are different criteria which will be considered while determining the mode of treatment to be chosen. Most of the deformities do not require surgeries. Some will be faded away by the time the child grows up. If not, other treatment options like therapies and prosthetic devices will be used. Surgery will be done only after the age of three.