Congenital Limb Defects in Children

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Congenital limb defects occur when a portion or the entire upper or lower limb fails to form normally when the baby is developing in the uterus.

The most common congenital limb defects can include:

•   complete or partial absence of the limb (such as fibula hemimelia or
    congenital absence of the tibia)
•   failure of the portion of the limb to separate (commonly seen in fingers
    or toes)
•   duplication (commonly seen as extra fingers
    Congenital limb defects treated at Boston Children's Hospitalor toes)
•   overgrowth (the limb is much larger than the normal limb)
•   undergrowth (the limb is much smaller than the normal limb)
•   constriction band syndrome - early rupture of the amniotic sac (inner
    membranes that cover the fetus in utero
    and contain the amnionic fluid) resulting in bands that may become
    entangled in the extremities of the fetus,
    causing immobilization, constrictions of the limbs, amputations, and
    other deformities.

Boston Children's Hospital approach to congenital limb defects

The overall goal for treatment of congenital limb defects is to provide your child with a limb that has proper function and appearance. At Boston Children's, multidisciplinary teams of surgeons and physical therapists work to serve your child's individual needs.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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