Polydactyly

Also known as: polydactylism, hyperdactyly, thumb duplication, supernumerary fingers, supernumerary toes, extra fingers, extra toes, preaxial polydactyly, postaxial polydactyly, central polydactyly.

What is Polydactyly?

Polydactyly refers to a condition in which a child is born with extra fingers or toes. In some cases, the extra digit is just a small growth or bump coming off a regular toe or finger. In other cases, the extra digits can be fully formed, or anywhere in between.
 

What causes polydactyly? 

The majority of cases of polydactyly are sporadic without an attributable cause.  In some cases, the cause can be associated with a genetic mutation or syndrome.  The condition sometimes has a hereditary component, and can be passed on from parents to children.
 

What are the symptoms of polydactyly? 

The presence of the extra digit is the primary symptom of polydactyly. It typically does not cause other symptoms, though, if part of a syndrome, it may present with other physical abnormalities.   Additional digits can sometimes interfere with the function of the affected hand or foot.
 

What are polydactyly care options?

Treatment of polydactyly ranges from simple removal of the extra digit, if it’s composed of only skin and soft tissue, to more complex surgical reconstruction, especially when it affects the central digits of the hand or the thumb.

Reviewed by: Aaron J Berger, MD

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:19:03 PM


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When Harper was diagnosed with Beckwith Wiedemann Syndrome shortly after birth, her family knew they wanted the best team possible for her tongue reduction surgery. Harper now leads a limitless life thanks to Dr. Chad Perlyn, an expert in treating macroglossia, and the Craniofacial Center at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.