Unilateral congenital terminal finger absences: A condition that differs from symbrachydactyly

Jeffrey B. Knight, Tamir Pritsch, Marybeth Ezaki, Scott N. Oishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


To describe a type of nonhereditary unilateral transverse deficiency, which we have named hypodactyly, that is distinct from symbrachydactyly or amniotic disruption sequence. We identified 19 patients with unilateral congenital anomalies consisting of absent or short bulbous fingers that lack terminal ectodermal elements. Medical records and radiographs were retrospectively reviewed and contrasted with the typical findings of symbrachydactyly and amniotic disruption sequence. No associated syndromes or potentially causative diagnoses were identified in the hypodactyly patients. The digital absences were of a truncated pattern with thickened, tubular soft tissue coverage. Radiographs revealed a pattern of severity progression that is different from that of symbrachydactyly. Distal phalanges were the bony elements absent most frequently, followed sequentially by the middle phalanx and proximal phalanx. In all cases, metacarpals were present. Unlike symbrachydactyly, the ulnar 2 digits were more involved than the index and long fingers, and the thumb was the least involved digit. Hypodactyly appears to be a congenital hand anomaly that is clinically and radiographically different from symbrachydactyly or amniotic disruption sequence and is presumed to be caused by a distinct pathomechanism. Prognostic IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-129
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Brachydactyly
  • congenital anomaly
  • hypodactyly
  • symbrachydactyly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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