Congenital Disorders of the Pediatric Thumb

Jenny Lee Nguyen, Christine A. Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


» Surgical timing for pediatric trigger thumb treatment is controversial for numerous reasons including the potential for spontaneous resolution, the possibility of bilateral involvement, and anesthesia concerns regarding the developing brain. Hence, a reasonable approach is to delay the surgical procedure until the patient is ≥ 3 years of age.» Preaxial polydactyly is usually unilateral and sporadic, with the most common reconstruction method consisting of excision of the diminutive thumb with preservation and soft-tissue reconstruction of the dominant thumb. The surgical procedure is typically performed around the patient age of 1 year to decrease the risks of anesthesia but allow reconstruction prior to the development of a tip-to-tip pinch.» Triphalangeal thumb and thumb hypoplasia are often found in the setting of systemic anomalies such as Holt-Oram syndrome, thrombocytopenia absent radius syndrome, Fanconi anemia, VACTERL (vertebral anomalies, anal atresia, cardiac anomalies, tracheoesophageal fistula, renal defects, and limb anomalies), and/or Blackfan-Diamond anemia. As such, patients should receive adequate workup for these entities. A surgical procedure should be performed only once patients have been medically cleared.» The status of the carpometacarpal joint in thumb hypoplasia determines whether reconstruction with first web space deepening, collateral ligament stabilization, and opponensplasty compared with index pollicization is performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere21.00147
JournalJBJS reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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