Friday, April 10, 2015

Unusual Clinodactyly

I have written previously on clinodactyly with several posts.  Clinodactyly, the curved finger, is typically not a functional problem.  But, a more severe deformity is more likely to be a problem with activities and patients often complain of trouble with things like keyboarding and musical instruments.  Clinodactyly of the small finger is most common location and it almost always causes a deviation of the pinky towards the ring finger.  It is rare to see any other deformity.

This 17 year old patient has clinodactyly but with the very uncommon deviation away from the ring finger.  It does not cause pain but it does cause trouble with activities.

Notice the curved small fingers- clinodactyly- but with deviation away from the hand.

Close up view of small finger clinodactyly.

Finger flexion is good (almost always the case) in this patient with clinodactyly.
Clinodactyly.  Not the abnormal shape of the middle bone causing deviation.
Clinodactyly.  Not the abnormal shape of the middle bone causing deviation.

Thanks for reading.

Charles A. Goldfarb, MD
My Bio at Washington University


  1. Hello. My name is Julia Nail. My Biology class has been working on a project, so my partner and I decided to research hand and arm malformations. Your blog (I think this is a blog.. I'm sorry if I'm incorrect) has shown up a lot while searching, therefore I thought it was a good idea to ask you questions and such. I would say one of my top questions is: Have scientists or doctors worked on a medication of some kind to either detect or prevent these malformations? I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you for your cooperation.

    1. Julia, thank you for the question. And yes, this is my blog. Not a typical blog, I know, but my goal is simply to provide information for families. Doctors are always working to both detect and prevent these malformation. Prenatal US is pretty good (but far from perfect) in detection. Each of these malformations has a different cause and so there is no one medicine which can help prevent them. But, folic acid is a great example of progress. As you may know, pregnant women take folate to help prevent neural tube birth defects and it has been really successful in preventing that problem.

      I hope that helps somewhat . Good luck.