Children's Hospital Colorado


What is polydactyly?

Polydactyly is a condition in which a child has extra fingers or toes. It is one of the most common hand differences and often runs in families. The extra fingers/toes may be only soft tissue (which looks like extra skin), but some include bones as well.


What causes polydactyly?

Polydactyly occurs when a finger, thumb or toe splits in two – causing an extra one to form while the baby is in the mom's uterus before birth.

How is polydactyly diagnosed?

A provider will use a physical examination to diagnose polydactyly, usually just after birth. Often, the surgeon will order X-rays to look at the bones of the fingers/toes.

How is polydactyly treated?

Polydactyly is treated in different ways depending on the case. In some cases, a doctor will tie off the extra fingers/toes, which usually causes the tissue dies and the fingers/toes to fall off. In other cases, your child's doctor may recommend surgery.

What to expect from polydactyly surgery?

  • After surgery, the hand or foot will have bandages, and most likely there will be a cast placed over the bandages.
  • Once the bandages or cast is/are taken off, your child's surgeon will most likely suggest working with a hand therapist.

Why choose Children's Hospital Colorado for your child's polydactyly treatment?

Our Hand and Upper Extremity Program 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.