I wanted to share a case in which there was a single triphalangeal thumb. This case is somewhat typical in that the extra bone is a really small, triangular shaped bone. This bone causes a deviation of the thumb and that is usually the reason that the family seeks help. Surgery, as shown below, is reliable in straightening the thumb but does not always restore full motion.
|Triphalangeal thumb, crooked due to the extra triangular shaped bone.|
|Another view of the Triphalangeal thumb, crooked due to the extra triangular shaped bone.|
|X-ray of the triphalangeal thumb. There is a really small triangular bone between the main 2 thumb bones.|
|Another view of the||X-ray of the triphalangeal thumb. There is a really small triangular bone between the main 2 thumb bones.|
This extra bone causes the thumb to be crooked and can also limit motion. For both reasons, the patient may be taken to the operating room to remove the extra bone and tighten the joint. A pin is placed to allow the soft tissues to heal.
|This is the extra bone after removal.|
|Triphalangeal thumb after removal of the extra bone. The thumb is straight once again.|
Charles A. Goldfarb, MD
My Bio at Washington University