Cleft Hand

What is cleft hand?

Cleft hand is a rare congenital birth defect in which the hand didn’t develop properly during fetal development. A cleft hand means that your child’s hand is missing a finger or fingers and may have other deformities, some of which can be classified by type. Clefts are always central (middle fingers) and are usually V-shaped, but they can also be on the thumb (radial) side, less commonly little (ulnar) finger side or in various combinations.

Although cleft hands usually occur on both hands (bilateral), they can also be unilateral, and can include one or both feet. All affected children, except those with very mild cases, need one or more surgeries, usually starting in their first year of life.

Clefts affect between one in 10,000 and one in 90,000 babies. An isolated cleft hand, in which there’s no associated clinical syndrome or systemic illness, accounts for fewer than 5 percent of all congenital hand conditions.

How we care for cleft hand

The Orthopedic Center’s Hand and Orthopedic Upper Extremity Program and our Department of Plastic and Oral Surgery’s Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery Program have treated thousands of babies and children with cleft hand and other hand problems. We are experienced treating conditions that range from routine to highly complex, and can provide your child with expert diagnosis, treatment, and care. We also offer the benefits of some of the most advanced clinical and scientific research in the world.

Our Orthopedic Center is nationally known as the preeminent center for the care of children and young adults with a wide range of developmental, congenital, neuromuscular, sports related, traumatic, and post-traumatic problems of the musculoskeletal system.

Our Department of Plastic and Oral Surgery is one of the largest and most experienced pediatric plastic and oral surgery centers anywhere in the world. We provide comprehensive care and treatment for a wide variety of congenital and acquired conditions, including hand deformities.