Published: 19-08-2010, 12:01

Supernumerary digits

Polydactyly, or supernumerary digits, is one of the most commonly seen congenital conditions in children. Most commonly the extra finger or toe is a mirror image of the digit lying directly adjacent to the extra digit (Figure 3.26).
Supernumerary digits

Figure 3.26. Supernumerary toes arising medial to the great toe.

The apparent extra digit is in competition with the adjacent digit for the tendons activating that finger or toe. It is very important to determine tendon function in the presumed supernumerary digit so as not to become embarrassingly involved in the removal of a very functional part. The most common supernumerary digits are an extra fifth finger, an extra thumb, an extra fifth toe and an extra great toe. Not uncommonly, the extra thumb and toe will be syndactylized. Nearly always the indication for surgical removal is cosmetic, or as a consequence of difficulties in obtaining conventional shoe wear. Orthopedic referral is appropriate.
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