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Congenital Hand Deformities
Congenital anomalies are deformities that are present at birth. Any type of deformity in a newborn can become a challenge for the child as he or she grows. 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 fingers, to a severe deformity, such as total absence of a bone.
Early consultation with a hand 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.
- Limb manipulation and stretching
- Splinting of the affected limbs
- Tendon transfers
- External appliances (to help realign misshapen fingers or hands)
- Physical therapy (to help increase the strength and function of the hand)
- Correction of contractures
- Skin grafts. These involve replacing or attaching skin to a part of the hand that is missing skin or has been removed during a procedure.
- Prosthetics. These may be used when surgery is not an option, or in addition to surgical correction.