Macrodactyly

Gillette’s Center for Pediatric Orthopedics offers comprehensive diagnosis, treatment and management of rare and complex conditions such as macrodactyly.

By providing care in a family-centered environment, we help our patients achieve their highest possible levels of independence, comfort and happiness.

Why Choose Gillette?

  • Our orthopedists specialize in typical and atypical growth and development—we understand the needs of people who have conditions such as macrodactyly.
  • Gillette is the Upper Midwest’s only nationally ranked Best Children’s Hospital for pediatric orthopedics.
  • Our fellowship-trained pediatric orthopedic surgeons, pediatric plastic surgeons and rehabilitation therapists collaborate to provide comprehensive care.
  • We work closely with patients and their families to create customized treatment plans that meet your needs.

Definition

Macrodactyly is a rare condition in which an infant’s fingers or toes are abnormally large because of overgrowth of bone and soft tissue. Babies are born with the condition.
Usually macrodactyly only occurs in one hand or one foot, but multiple fingers or toes on that hand or foot are affected. It occurs more often in hands than in feet.


Macrodactyly Cause

The cause of macrodactyly is unknown. Some believe an abnormal nerve or blood supply in the affected fingers or toes cause the condition. The condition isn’t inherited and isn’t caused by anything the mother did during pregnancy. Macrodactyly is associated, however, with other conditions, such as vascular malformations and neurofibromatosis.


Macrodactyly Symptoms and Types

The main symptom of macrodactyly is having one or more fingers or toes that are much larger than other fingers or toes. Macrodactyly is usually a benign condition, but it can be deforming—often affecting appearance and function.

There are two types of macrodactyly.

Static macrodactyly occurs when the affected fingers or toes are roughly one-and-a-half times the size of normal fingers and toes. They grow at the same rate as the unaffected fingers or toes.

Progressive macrodactyly occurs when the affected fingers or toes begin at a regular size. Then, as a child becomes older, the affected fingers or toes grow much larger, at a much faster rate, than the unaffected fingers and toes do.


Macrodactyly Diagnosis

Macrodactyly is usually visible at birth, unless it is the progressive type, which might not be detected until later in early childhood, when enlargement begins.

We might perform the following tests to confirm the type of macrodactyly and determine which tissues are affected.

X-rays of the affected fingers or toes will provide detailed images of the internal tissues and bones.

MRI can provide more detailed images, if necessary, or rule out any associated conditions.


Macrodactyly Treatments

The goal of treatment is to help the affected fingers or toes work as well as possible. Sometimes, in mild cases, only observation or a modified shoe is needed. In most cases, however, Gillette specialists correct macrodactyly with surgery. Often, the surgery is complex, involving multiple procedures and long-term planning.
We might recommend one or a combination of the following surgeries.

Soft Tissue Debulking

In this procedure, we remove the thickened layers of skin and fat to reduce the width of the fingers or toes. Then, we replace the affected skin with grafts of healthy skin from another area of the body. Gillette specialists usually perform soft tissue debulking in multiple stages, with each procedure taking place about three months apart.

Shortening Procedures

We might recommend shortening procedures to help correct length. Typically, these procedures involve slowing the growth areas of the bone or removing bones in a finger or toe.

Ray Resection

In severe cases—especially cases of progressive macrodactyly—we might perform a ray resection. This typically involves complete removal of the affected fingers or toes.


Our Macrodactyly Services

Our Center for Pediatric Orthopedics offers fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons who specialize in caring for children, along with a vast team of experts in a variety of specialties. Together, we offer comprehensive treatment plans that produce stellar outcomes for our patients.

Specialties and services most often involved in care for macrodactyly include:

Assistive technology
Child life
• Nursing
Occupational therapy
Orthopedics
Physical therapy
Radiology and imaging
Rehabilitation medicine
Social work
Therapeutic recreation

For more information about Gillette’s comprehensive services, search Conditions and Care.

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Because all children deserve a lifetime of amazing health care.

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