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: October 16, 2019 01:56 PM

Learn more about

Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome

Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome is a genetic disorder that presents with slow growth before and after birth and multiple anomalies at birth. Learn more

Oral Facial Digital Syndrome (OFD)

As the name suggests, oral facial digital syndrome is a genetic disorder that primarily affects the development of the mouth, face, fingers and toes. Learn more