Congenital Limb Defects

What is congenital limb defect?

When  a baby’s limb or a portion of the limb does not form properly during the developing process inside the uterus, it causes congenital limb defect. The term “congenital” refers to “inborn”. Any deformity with which the child is born can be called a congenital deformity or defect. Congenital limb defect is one among many congenital deformities.

What causes congenital limb defects?

The exact cause for congenital limb defect is not yet known. There are certain factors which may, however, increase the risk for developing congenital limb defect:
Certain conditions like growth restriction, genetic abnormalities, and mechanical forces that may affect the baby’s development when in the uterus.
Chemical or virus exposure during pregnancy
Exposure to tobacco
Certain medicines

How the condition is diagnosed?

In most cases, congenital limb defects are diagnosed at the time of birth itself. Some of the common congenital limb defects include:
Overgrowth of the limb
Undergrowth of the limb
Extra fingers or toes (duplication)
Failure of the portion of the limb to separate
Complete absence of the limb
Congenital constriction band syndrome

What are the treatment options for congenital limb defects?

There are various aspects based on which the doctor decided on the treatment. The major goal of the treatment is to restore normal functioning of the limb. However, there are no standardized treatment protocols for congenital limb defects. Common treatment options used may include:
Artificial limbs or prosthesis
Braces/splints or orthotics
Physical/Occupational Therapy

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