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HandLab Resource Archive

What Do You See? No. 15

Cleft Hand

Cleft Hand (also called split hand) is a relatively rare congenital limb malformation characterized by absence or deficiency of one or more central rays and fusion of the remaining digits. The medical term is ectrodactyly, which can also occur in the foot. It is caused by a hereditary gene mutation and may be accompanied by other associated conditions.

Although surgery to improve both function and cosmesis is the usual treatment, this photo is of an adult hand which has not undergone surgical reconstruction. The configuration of the deformity varies. One recognizes this as a hand by identifying the normal wrist contour (ulnar styloid on left).

Cleft hand (Split Hand)



Book Chapter - Splinting the Hand with a Peripheral Nerve Injury, Rehabilitation of the Hand and Upper Extremity – 2002

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Disclaimer: HandLab's What Do You See? is intended to be an informal sharing of practical clinical ideas; not formal evidence-based conclusions of fact.