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Coimbatore, India.


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You are in - Home >> Plastic, Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery and Burns >> Congenital Hand Differences >> Radial Club Hand

Radial Club Hand

Radial club hand is a deformity in which the hand is bent at the wrist and deviated towards the thumb. It is rarely hereditary. It is sometimes associated with some malformations. Radial club hand is a very complex malformation that affects all tissues in the hand and forearm. Skeletal malformations occur not only in the radius but also in the whole arm. It is usually associated with the absence or under developed thumb.


Treatment consists of straightening of the hand and stabilisation of the wrist. The absence of thumb is usually corrected by shifting the index finger in the place of the missing thumb thereby making the hand functional. The first stage which consists of straightening of hands should be done at the age of 6 months followed by thumb correction at 1-2 years of age.

Creation of the thumb - Pollicisation

Many cases of radial club hand present with no thumb or they may be so small and weak to serve any useful function. For such children a new thumb is created by rotating the index finger to the position of the thumb. This procedure is usually done around one year of age. Some children may be born without the thumb or a weak thumb with no obvious problems in the forearm. This condition is called as Hypoplastic thumb. For these children the thumb is created from the index finger. The muscles are readjusted so that they function in the new position. This is regularly done at Ganga hospital.

Child with weak and small thumb

New thumb created by shifting the index
finger in the place of the thumb. (Pollicisation)