What is camptodactyly?

Camptodactyly means your child has a bent finger that cannot completely straighten. Affecting about 1 percent of children to some degree, 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

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

Surgical options for camptodactyly

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 is the long-term outlook for a child with camptodactyly?

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.

How we care for camptodactyly

The Orthopedic Center’s Hand and Orthopedic Upper Extremity Program and our Department of Plastic and Oral Surgery's Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery Program have treated thousands of babies and children with camptodactyly and other hand problems. We are experienced treating conditions that range from routine to highly complex, and can provide your child with expert diagnosis, treatment, and care. We also offer the benefits of some of the most advanced clinical and scientific research in the world.

Our Orthopedic Center is nationally known as the preeminent center for the care of children and young adults with a wide range of developmental, congenital, neuromuscular, sports related, traumatic, and post-traumatic problems of the musculoskeletal system.

Our Department of Plastic and Oral Surgery is one of the largest and most experienced pediatric plastic and oral surgery centers anywhere in the world. We provide comprehensive care and treatment for a wide variety of congenital and acquired conditions, including hand deformities.