Polydactyly, a condition where a baby is born with extra digits (fingers or toes), is more common than many people realize. It’s a phenomenon that often runs in families and can occur as an isolated anomaly or be associated with other syndromes. For parents faced with this diagnosis, understanding the condition and its treatment options is essential to providing the best care for their child.

In most cases of polydactyly, the extra digit is not fully formed and may resemble a small, underdeveloped finger or toe. However, the severity of the condition can vary greatly, with some children having fully functional extra digits. The treatment approach depends on factors such as the location and size of the additional digit.

For small extra digits that are only connected by a small skin bridge, removal is relatively straightforward. This procedure can often be done in the doctor’s office and typically carries minimal risk. However, when the extra digit is more developed or fully formed, surgical intervention is usually necessary.

Surgery for polydactyly is typically performed when the child is between 1 to 2 years old. This timing allows for the hand or foot to have developed sufficiently for the surgeon to assess the anatomy and determine the best approach for removal. The goal of surgery is not only to remove the extra digit but also to ensure that the remaining digits are functional and aesthetically pleasing.

If your child has been diagnosed with polydactyly or if you have concerns about their hand development, contact Wellspring Pediatric Plastics to learn more about how to support your child’s health and well-being.