(especially of a disease or physical abnormality) present from birth
A congenital hand difference is a hand that is abnormal at birth. During fetal development, the upper limbs are formed between four and eight weeks of pregnancy. During this time, many steps are needed to form a normal arm and hand. If any of these steps fail, then a congenital hand difference can result. It is not uncommon for a child to be born with a hand difference. In fact, 1 in 20 babies are born with one.
Some congenital hand differences can be major, and some can be minor. Here are 3 common differences:
- Syndactyly: This is when parts of the hand are webbed or fused together (failure of separation).
- Polydactyly: This is when the child has an extra small finger (duplication).
- Radial Polydactyly: This is when the child has an extra thumb (duplication).