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Congenital Hand Differences (CHD) refers to all physical differences on one or both upper extremities. Congenital refers to presence at birth; this can be from difficulties with formation of the hand or from environmental factors such as ammoniac bands. Whereas acquired refers to hand differences because of injury or disease after birth.
Congenital Hand Differences can be the addition or enlargement of features, fused or webbed features, and/ or the absence or reduction of features. Features refers to all biological aspects in the hand primarily: bones, muscles, and skin. Some CHDs have specific names like macrodactyly or syndactyly whereas others are referred to as limb deficiency. There are others that relate to conditions in the body, such as Poland’s Syndrome or Thrombocytopenia-absent radius and a few CHD are genetic in nature.
Research suggests that CHD can occur in 3.7-5.1 (Can you simplify this number?) of 10,000 live births in the United States. (I’m not sure this statistic is necessary?) Often times there is a lack of explanation or reason for CHD. It is often not the result of behavior or action that anyone did or not do. At the end of the day, it is most important to know that your child will live a full and meaningful life and can engage in all of the activities he/she needs and wants to do. Adaptive strategies, modifications, assistive devices, prosthetics devices, therapeutic interventions, and/or surgical interventions may be helpful to maximize function and to assist in your child’s engagement. Our role is to provide these services and support. We are here to help.
We invite you to explore the resources and supports in this site developed for you when it comes to raising your child with a CHD.