Brachydactyly is a shortening of the fingers and toes. It occurs due to unusually short bones and can also be a symptom of other genetic disorders. In most cases, it does not cause any problem for the person who has it. The affected people may experience some difficulty with grip. And, if brachydactyly is severe in the feet, the affected person may face impaired walking.
Types of Brachydactyly: There are many types of brachydactyly, based on which bones those are shortened.
Type A: shortening of the middle phalanges.
Type B: it affects the end of each finger.
Type C: it affects the index, middle, and little fingers.
Type D: it only affects the thumbs.
Type E: shortened metacarpals and metatarsals.
HOW IS BRACHYDACTYLY DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis is clinical, anthropometric and radiological. Prenatal diagnosis is usually not indicated for isolated forms of brachydactyly, but may be appropriate in syndromic forms. Careful examination of the hands and feet by a doctor may be enough to diagnose brachydactyly. X-rays can also be used to see which bones are shortened and to diagnose the type of brachydactyly. In mild cases, an X-ray may be the only way to tell that the condition is present. Genetic testing may also be necessary to determine if the syndrome is present.
HOW IS BRACHYDACTYLY TREATED?
While no treatment may be required due to the lack of pain for most of the cases, the child may be required to undergo occupational therapy so as to make better use of the short fingers and toes when it comes to functions like gripping objects.
DID YOU KNOW?
Almost all people with brachydactyly live completely normal lives. Some may feel self-conscious about the appearance of their hands or feet, but are otherwise healthy.