Children's Hospital Colorado
Hand and Upper Extremity Program

Symbrachydactyly

Kids aren’t just mini adults. In fact, they’re incredibly different. That’s why they need incredibly different care.

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What is symbrachydactyly?

Symbrachydactyly refers to a hand that did not develop normally. Signs and symptoms might include:

  • The hand or the fingers might be short because the bones are short.
  • The fingers might be webbed or attached to one another, known as syndactyly. The fingers might be stiffer.
  • The bones in the hand or fingers might be missing completely.
  • The thumb may be small or missing completely, known as thumb hypoplasia/aplasia.
  • There might be nubbins (small stumps of skin and tissue) instead of fingers.
  • The condition usually only affects one hand.
  • It might be associated with radial dysplasia.

The hand and wrist have many bones, including:

  • Phalanges (finger and thumb bones)
    Each finger has three bones.
    Each thumb has two bones.
  • Metacarpals (main bones in the palm of the hand)
  • Carpals (wrist bones)

What causes symbrachydactyly?

Symbrachydactyly occurs when the bones of the hand do not grow normally when the baby is growing in the mother's uterus. Doctors do not know why this occurs, however:

  • It might be part of a syndrome (group of symptoms).
  • It might be a genetic condition (passed down in families).

Next steps

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 Brazeau, PA-C

Cailin Brazeau, PA-C

Physician Assistant