Children's Hospital Colorado
Hand and Upper Extremity Program

Clinodactyly in Children

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What is clinodactyly?

Clinodactyly is when a finger or toe curves toward the finger or toe next to it, not up or down. Clinodactyly can happen in any finger or toe, but the most common type is when the small finger curves toward the ring finger. Clinodactyly may get worse with age.

An illustration of a hand with the pinky finger bent inward toward the ring finger. Next to it is a close-up illustration of the bent joint showing a triangular shaped growth plate called the delta phalanx that is causing the finger to bend.

What causes clinodactyly?

There may be a growth plate on one side of the bone that causes the bone to grow longer on one side than the other. The bone doesn't grow in the normal shape of a rectangle, but rather more like a triangle.

  • Clinodactyly might be a genetic condition (may be passed down in families).
  • Clinodactyly might be a part of a syndrome (a specific group of symptoms). About 35-70% of children with Down syndrome have clinodactyly.

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Get to know our pediatric experts.

Sarah Sibbel, MD

Sarah Sibbel, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery, Hand Surgery

Frank Scott, MD

Frank Scott, MD

Hand Surgery

Cailin Delaney, PA-C

Cailin Delaney, PA-C

Physician Assistant