Clinodactyly

What is clinodactyly?

Clinodactyly means that your child has an abnormally bent or curved finger. It is typically caused by abnormal growth and development of the small bones of the finger. It is estimated to affect about 10 percent of the general population to varying degrees.

In many cases, your child’s growth plate in the hand may be an abnormal shape or have an abnormal orientation. Rather than grow perpendicular to the axis of the finger, therefore, these bones may change the direction they grow in, resulting in trapezoidal or triangular shaped bones. This can cause a shift in the alignment of the finger joints as well.

Clinodactyly can be an inherited condition and may present as a part of an associated syndrome. A significant percentage of people with Down syndrome, for example, have clinodactyly.

The exact incidence of this condition is unknown, in part because there is no precise definition of what level of curvature is normal and abnormal. It tends to be present more commonly in boys and usually affects the small finger; it is unusual to have it on both hands.

How Boston Children's cares for clinodactyly

Combining training in pediatric and adolescent orthopedics, hand surgery, plastic surgery and microsurgery allows our surgeons to provide a comprehensive level of care unmatched in most other hospital settings.

Hand and Orthopedic Upper Extremity Program

The Hand and Orthopedic Upper Extremity Program provides comprehensive care involving occupational and physical therapy, splinting, casting and reconstructive surgeries for infants, children and adolescents with complex congenital, neuromuscular, sports-related oncologic and traumatic upper limb conditions.

Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery Program

The specialists in the Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery Program at Boston Children's are experts in the management of congenital and acquired hand deformities. We recognize the social elements involved in pediatric hand surgery, so an essential part of these operations has been making the child's hand as symmetrical as possible with the unaffected hand.