General Travels and Meetings

World Congenital Forum

Once every three years, an international group comes together for approximately 3 days to discuss all things relevant to the care of children born with musculoskeletal differences.  In 2012, it was here in the United States, Dallas Texas to be specific.  In 2015, the 10th World Symposium on Congenital Malformations of the Hand and Upper Limb was held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.  It also included a precourse on cerebral palsy.  There were more than 45 invited speakers, 50 free paper presentations, 70 posters, and much, much conversation about malformations, treatments, and research.  We were hosted by Christianne van Nieuwenhoven and Steven Hovius, plastic surgeons with a wonderful congenital program at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.  And WOW! it was quite a meeting.

Our hosts.  We had a delightful small group tour on Saturday.  This picture is in front of a statue of Erasmus.

I had the opportunity to present some of our work and enjoyed the back and forth regarding this information from the widely experienced audience:

1) Data from our study of the prevalence of congenital differences based on the New York State Congenital Malformation Registry.
2) Syndactyly
3) Central Synpolydactyly (poster presentation)

As always, there was a great deal of information shared and I learned much from my colleagues from all over the world.

This is my registration badge- I wanted to share the awesome logo.

I could also show you many sites from the beautiful city of Rotterdam, but the bridge is it most notable piece of architecture (at least to me).

Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge

Thank you again to our hosts, Steven and Christianne.

Charles A. Goldfarb, MD
My Bio at Washington University


  1. Dear Dr. Charles,
    i would thank you if you could tell me if the transverse bellow-ellbow arrest tends to look like the photograph that is shown at: ? A friend of mine has the exact same defect pictured there, with the same small hand bud. Is this small hand bud usual? That picture was the only of the kind I could find. What is the cause of this? Some mutation? Or a disruption of environmental cause? Is there a risk of recurrence?

  2. Angel,

    Thank you for your question. The picture at the Amelia entry is not really Amelia as that means absence of the limb. It is a transverse deficiency or likely a symbrachydactyly- please see my previous posts. We believe the small hand bud is really related to formation of the ectoderm (which is why there may be fingernails) without normal formation of the mesoderm (and therefore the short limb).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *