Congenital hand malformations

Quick diagnosis helps children and parents

Congenital malformations of the hands are rare in relation to the number of births. This makes the shock for the affected parents all the greater if their baby has one finger too many or too few or similar malformations of the hand. And even most obstetricians are overwhelmed with the situation and are unable to provide crucial assistance. It is thus important that affected children are examined within a few days of their birth by experienced hand and micro-surgeons. 

Our experts at Schoen Clinic will record the extent of the malformation during a detailed examination of your baby and explain the consequences and possible treatments. 

Causes & symptoms

Precise clarification of the consequences of malformations

Congenital malformations of the hands are often confined to a single hand and its functionality. However, in particularly severe cases, the malformations may be part of a complex malformation syndrome affecting other organ systems. An accurate diagnosis is therefore very important for your child.

Triggers of malformations of the hands

Congenital malformations of the upper limbs, especially the hands, usually arise spontaneously through a change in the genetic material. Such spontaneous malformations are usually confined to one hand and do not affect any other organs. However, toxic influences during pregnancy, such as alcohol, nicotine or drug abuse during the sensitive embryonic phase can also cause hand malformations. In particularly severe cases, malformations of the hands are part of a complex syndrome that primarily affects other organ systems, such as the heart, lungs or spine, interfering with and restricting their functionality. An accurate diagnosis is therefore important for the health of the affected baby.

Syndactyly is one of the most common malformations

The most common malformations of the hands are webbed fingers (syndactyly), missing or supernumerary fingers, and duplicated fingers or thumbs. The wide spectrum of complex malformations also includes fingers that are too short, the absence of one or more fingers, or even the absence of the entire hand. Severe malformations such as these are usually well detected by ultrasound examinations during pregnancy (intrauterine sonography). In contrast, simpler forms are often not identified during prenatal diagnosis and are only discovered at birth. 


Detecting malformations at an early stage

If a child has been born with malformed hands, a precise diagnosis usually requires an exact clinical (physical) examination as well as X-rays in two planes. This allows our experts to identify the full extent of the malformation and find the appropriate treatment options.