Macrodactyly

What is macrodactyly?

Macrodactyly is an uncommon condition in which a baby’s toes or fingers are abnormally large due to the overgrowth of the underlying bone and soft tissue. The condition is congenital, meaning babies are born with it.

Macrodactyly happens more often to hands than feet. Most of the time, only one hand or one foot is affected, but usually more than one digit on that hand or foot is involved. Macrodactyly may coexist with syndactyly, a condition in which two fingers or toes are fused together. Although it is a benign condition, macrodactyly is deforming and can look cosmetically displeasing to you and your child.

There are treatment options for macrodactyly you can discuss with your doctor. Opting for surgery usually involves multiple procedures, however it can help the problem.

 

What causes macrodactyly?

Researchers do not know why macrodactyly occurs, but they believe that it doesn’t result from anything the mother did (or didn’t do) during her pregnancy. Although babies are born with the condition, macrodactyly is not inherited.

It can occur in association with other conditions and syndromes, including:

What are the symptoms of macrodactyly?

One or more of your child’s fingers or toes will be much larger than his other fingers or toes. Macrodactyly is more commonly considered static, which means that the enlarged finger or toe grows at the same rate as the normal finger or toe on your child’s hand.

However, it can also be progressive, with the affected digits growing faster than the rest of the hand. In the static type, your child’s involved digits will generally be about one-and-a-half times the length and width of the normal digits. If the condition is progressive, the involved digit or digits can become enormous.

How Boston Children's cares for macrodactyly

Combining training in adult and pediatric 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.

You can have peace of mind knowing that the skilled experts in our Hand and Orthopedic Upper Extremity Program have treated thousands of babies and children with many bone-related conditions.  We provide expert diagnosis, treatment and care, and we benefit from our advanced clinical and scientific research.

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.