Highly skilled pediatric experts at Mayo Clinic Children's Center specialize in treating congenital hand differences — hand disorders present at birth (hand anomalies). Our multispecialty team evaluates, diagnoses and treats children with all types of congenital hand differences to improve hand function and appearance. Mayo Clinic Children's Center offers a compassionate and family-friendly approach to your child's care.

Expertise and the latest technology

You can expect the best and most up-to-date care for your child's congenital hand condition. Mayo Clinic Children's Center uses the most advanced technology for bone lengthening, soft tissue reconstruction and making prosthetics, including 3D imaging and reconstruction.

Micro-computerized tomography (micro-CT) imaging enables greatly increased resolution on a small scale. Using an image from a micro-CT scan, pediatric radiologists can create 3D models that can be saved for further analysis.

Congenital hand differences can now be identified during fetal ultrasound, and consultation with the hand surgeon is often performed before a baby is born. Surgical models are made from imaging studies of the child's fingers and arms, allowing surgeons the opportunity to plan and practice surgery.

Mayo Clinic hand surgeons have special training in microsurgery. Microsurgery involves operating in very small surgical areas, usually repairing small blood vessels and nerves. Surgeons use microscopes to magnify the surgical area and use small surgical tools to repair or mend blood vessels and nerves.

Conditions treated

Various types of congenital hand differences, sometimes called congenital hand deformities, are assessed and treated, including:

  • Cleft hand — a gap in the hand that looks like a "V," sometimes with missing fingers
  • Club hand — hand and forearm deformity on the thumb side (radial) or the side of the little finger (ulnar)
  • Extra fingers or thumbs (polydactyly)
  • Fused or webbed fingers (syndactyly)
  • Missing, undeveloped or unusually small fingers or thumbs
  • Abnormally large finger
  • Bent fingers
  • Wrist deformities

Procedures performed

Hand surgeons in Mayo Clinic Children's Center are experts in:

  • Cleft hand reconstruction
  • Club hand reconstruction
  • Hand surgery
  • Microvascular surgery
  • Polydactyly (pah-lee-DAK-tuh-lee) reconstruction
  • Syndactyly (sin-DAK-tuh-lee) reconstruction
  • Thumb reconstruction
  • Wrist reconstruction
  • Reconstruction of other types of hand disorders

Our team

Our team of experts on congenital hand differences provides comprehensive care, tailored to your child's needs.

  • Clinical nurse coordinator
    • Collects medical history and assists with planning your visit
    • Provides education to your child and family
    • Assists your child and family in understanding and carrying out the treatment plan
  • Pediatric hand surgeon
    • Has expertise in orthopedic surgery, microvascular surgery and plastic surgery
    • Diagnoses, treats and manages the congenital hand disorders
    • Recommends a comprehensive treatment plan, including pain management, to ensure your child's well-being
  • Pediatric radiologist
    • Uses advanced imaging technology to ensure an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment
    • Creates 3D models, using an image from a micro-CT scan
  • Physical therapist
    • Develops a plan for therapeutic exercises to improve hand strength and function
    • Personalizes the treatment plan to the needs of your child
    • Works with and educates you and your child on how to properly do the exercises
  • Occupational therapist
    • Works with your child (depending on your child's age) to improve ability to use his or her hand in activities of daily living
    • When needed, teaches different ways of doing tasks that involve the hand

Depending on your child's needs and age, other team members may include physicians in other specialty areas, as well as a child life specialist or a mental health professional.

When your child is admitted to the hospital, you can expect the highest quality pediatric medical services at Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital, where your child's care team will be led by pediatric physicians with unparalleled expertise and experience.

Processes are put in place as children return to their primary care physician to ensure consistent treatment. Long-term, integrated care at Mayo Clinic Children's Center enables a level of care and trust that helps children feel comfortable with their hand differences as they grow through different stages and phases of life.


Make an appointment at Mayo Clinic Children's Center and learn about patient services.

March 14, 2020