What is Camptodactyly?
Camptodactyly is a genetic condition in which the child is born with a finger that is in a bent position and cannot be straightened.1 This condition is quite rare and affects about 1% of children. The root cause of Camptodactyly is not known but it is known to occur along with other genetic medical conditions like Marfan Syndrome, Jacobsen Syndrome and the like. Camptodactyly can also be caused if the child has a tight skin at the time of birth, has contracted tendons or ligaments, has some muscle abnormality, and has malalignment of the bones. The main treatment for Camptodactyly is physical and occupational therapy and sometimes surgery is also done to correct the deformity.
What is the Cause of Camptodactyly?
As stated, the root cause for Camptodactyly is not known but it is said that lumbrical deficiency may be a cause of it along with abnormalities of the flexor or extensor tendons. Certain genetic conditions also tend to cause Camptodactyly. Some of the conditions that can cause Camptodactyly Jacobsen syndrome, Marfan Syndrome, Beals Syndrome, Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, Weaver syndrome, etc.
What are the Symptoms of Camptodactyly?
Camptodactyly is completely asymptomatic if it is mild in nature but in case if the condition is moderate to severe then there will be a visible deformity generally of the little finger where it will be bent and the child will be unable to straighten it but by no means will it hamper the functioning of the hand of the affected child. Only in severe cases of Camptodactyly does the hand function of the child may be affected.
How is Camptodactyly Diagnosed?
If Camptodactyly is suspected, then the physician will do a thorough physical examination to carefully inspect the affected finger and the associated ligament and tendons. For this radiological studies in the form of x-ray or CT scan may be done. Genetic testing may also be done to rule out conditions that may cause Camptodactyly.
How is Camptodactyly Treated?
The treatment for Camptodactyly is both conservative and surgical. Since the milder forms of this condition does not hamper the function of the hand and hence only physical therapy for stretching is recommended and no surgical procedures are recommended for treatment. Generally, if the angle of the bend is less than 30 degrees then surgery is not recommended. Along with therapy splinting or casting may be done to keep the bones of the finger aligned in a normal way. Surgery is recommended if the finger is abnormally bent and is hampering the function of the hand. The surgery may include lengthening the joint or tendons to make the finger straight. It should be noted here that surgery may only partially correct the deformity and the child will always have some form of deformity. Surgery may have to be repeated as there may be recurrence of Camptodactyly.