Birth defects

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Clasp Thumb

  • Clasp Thumb

Description of disability:

Congenital clasped thumb describes an anomaly which is characterized by a fixed thumb into the palm at the metacarpophalangeal joint in one or both hands. It is a  congenital flexion-adduction deformity of the thumb that persists beyond the 3rd or 4th month of life. The incidence and genetic background are unknown. A study showed that boys are twice as often affected with congenital clasped thumb compared to girls. The anomaly is in most cases bilateral (present in both hands). A congenital clasped thumb can be an isolated anomaly, but can also be attributed to several syndromes.


Treatment includes nonoperative with serial splinting and stretching for 3-6 months which is the first-line treatment for all types and treatment to begin around the age of 6 months. The surgery is done under local anesthesia as a day procedure.

Release the thumb web space: it is possible to widen and deepen the area between the thumb and the index finger when it is too tight. To achieve this, a transposition flap or four-flap or five-flap Z-plasty can be used.

Tendon transfer is a technique usually considered for young children, in which tendons of index finger or little finger are used to make an adequate new extensor tendon for the thumb

Post operative care: 

Rest, immobilization and elevation of the part is the usual postoperative care.


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