Thumb duplication (pre-axial polydactyly) in Children

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Please note: these pages focus on thumb duplication, or polydactyly of the thumb. For details on polydactyly of other fingers, see our web pages on polydactyly.

If your baby was born with more than one thumb on one hand, we know that you and your family may be concerned. So, please know that at Children’s Hospital Boston, we approach your child’s treatment and care with sensitivity and support.

Thumb duplicationThumb duplication is a congenital condition (meaning that your baby was born with it) in which your child has two thumbs on one hand. The muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and nerves are often divided between each of forms of polydactyly.

Rather than a single normal thumb on each hand, your child’s duplicated thumbs are smaller and underdeveloped.
   •   The thumbs may be separate or appear fused together.
   •   Other fingers may be abnormal, too.

How Boston Children's approaches thumb duplication

Hand and Orthopedic Hand and Upper Extremity Program

The skilled experts in our Orthopedic Center’s Hand and Orthopedic Upper Extremity Program and have treated thousands of babies and children with finger and hand problems, from simple to complex. We can provide your child with expert diagnosis, treatment and care—as well as the benefits of some of the most advanced clinical and scientific research in the world.

Department of Pediatric Plastic Surgery

As one of the largest pediatric plastic surgery centers in the United States, the skilled experts in our Department of Pediatric Plastic Surgery provides comprehensive care and treatment to children with a wide variety of congenital and acquired conditions, including finger and hand anomalies.

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 his unaffected hand.

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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