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Camptodactyly

  • Camptodactyly means that your child has a bent finger that cannot completely or straighten. Camptodactyly can be caused by a number of different abnormal structures in your child’s finger:

    • tight skin
    • contracted tendons and ligaments
    • abnormal muscles
    • irregularly shaped bones

    It affects about 1 percent of children to some degree.

    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 his unaffected hand.

  • How common is camptodactyly?

    Camptodactyly affects about 1 percent of children. It occurs more often in girls than boys.

    What symptoms might my child have?

    If the case is mild, your child won’t have any symptoms. His finger (probably the little one) will be slightly curved, but it won’t affect his hand function in any way.

    If your child has a more severe case, it could slightly affect his hand function.

    Keep in mind that camptodactyly also can also occur as part of an underlying syndrome with associated facial, dental other systemic anomalies.

  • How is camptodactyly diagnosed?

    Camptodactyly is diagnosed by your child’s doctor after a thorough medical history and careful physical examination.

    X-rays are also used to confirm the diagnosis.

  • How is camptodactyly treated?

    Mild finger curvature rarely causes pain or functional problems. For these reasons, surgery is not typically recommended for children with mild (less than 30 degrees) curvature and no functional problems.

    Your child's doctor will probably recommend some form of splinting and occupational hand therapy if your child's condition is mild.

    Surgery

    If your child's finger curvature increases rapidly, or if it progresses to the point where it interferes with hand function, your child's doctor may recommend surgery.

    As there is no single cause for camptodactyly, no single operative procedure is recommended for all children.

    What's my child's long-term outlook?

    While surgery is usually successful in partially correcting the curvature, your child will likely have some residual deformity. There is a risk for recurrence and need for future surgery.

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Contact the Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery Program

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