Hand Disorders

Polydactyly (Extra Fingers)

What Is Polydactyly?

Polydactyly is one of the most common hand conditions present at birth. The condition can appear as any form of an extra digit, anywhere from a small, raised area to a complete digit. The affected digit may also appear “split.”

What Causes Polydactyly?

In some cases, polydactyly is genetic, but it can also accompany other hand conditions, such as syndactyly (webbed fingers.)

How Is Polydactyly Treated?

Treatment for polydactyly varies in complexity. A minor procedure may correct small extra digits or those with a narrow base. However, when the base is broad or if the extra digit is rooted deeply in the hand, reconstructive surgery may be the best option when the child is old enough to safely undergo an elective procedure. Operating on the bone, joint, ligaments or tendons may be necessary to create the most functional hand possible for the child.

If surgery is required, your child will wear a protective cast until the area heals. After the cast is removed, many children return for follow-up visits to monitor hand growth and function.