Children's Hospital Colorado


What is camptodactyly?

Camptodactyly is a condition in which a finger will not straighten completely. The middle joint of the finger does not work normally. This is called a flexion contracture. Camptodactyly may happen in any of the fingers, but it happens most often in the pinky finger.

What causes camptodactyly?

  • Camptodactyly might be caused from problems with skin, tendons, ligaments, muscles or bones of the finger.
  • Camptodactyly might be a genetic condition (passed down in families).
  • Camptodactyly might be a part of a syndrome (a group of symptoms).

How is camptodactyly diagnosed?

Camptodactyly is diagnosed by physical examination. Often, the doctor will order X-rays to look at the bones of the fingers.

How is camptodactyly treated?

Most children with camptodactyly don't need surgery to fix the condition. The best treatment is therapy. Stretching, splinting and casting are the treatments most often used to straighten the finger.

Surgery is usually only done if your child cannot use his or her hands normally. Even with therapy and/or surgery, the finger may not completely improve and might get worse again over time.

What to expect from camptodactyly surgery

  • The surgery will be done in the operating room under general anesthesia (the child is put to sleep).
  • Small cuts are made in the fingers to get to the bone.
  • A cut in the bone is made to straighten the bones of the fingers.
  • The fingers are put in the correct position. Small pins, wires or screws are used to hold the bone straight.
  • After the surgery is done, if there was a cut made in the skin, it is then closed with stitches.
  • If your child is sick any time during the week before surgery, it is important to call the Hand and Upper Extremity Program to find out if the surgery should be rescheduled. The hand nurse is available Monday through Friday for any questions you might have before the surgery.

Why choose Children's Hospital Colorado for your child's camptodactyly?

Our Hand and Upper Extremity Program team at Children's Colorado provides a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to the care of your child. This means you have access to leading specialists from multiple departments who work together to treat your child.

Your child's care team includes pediatric experts from orthopedic surgery, physical medicine, rehabilitation, occupational therapy and nursing.