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Conditions

Extra Finger or Toe

Extra finger on hand - licensed under CC from Guidod http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Polydactyly.jpg

Five children in 10,000 are born with an extra finger or toe. ‘Polydactyly’ is the medical name for this, and in some babies the extra digit appears fully formed, while in others there’s just a little stump. In half of all cases, the condition is hereditary. It rarely means there’s any other physical problem.

Years ago, physicians used to tie up the extra finger or toe, stopping the blood supply so that eventually the flesh died. The extra finger or toe has nerves just like any other part of the body so this was very painful! Doctors don’t do this anymore, and it is possible to have extra digits removed by surgery, though not all local hospitals will do this. The operation is a simple one done under a local anaesthetic, and once the hand has healed kids will have no other problems.

If you don’t or can’t have an extra finger or toe removed, doctors recommend taping it up to the next one. This not only makes it less obvious, but makes it easier putting on shoes, gloves etc.

Though having an extra finger or toe can be inconvenient under some circumstances, it shouldn’t actually impair kids’ ability to do things, but as they grow older and go to school, they may feel self-conscious and suffer from teasing. The psychological aspect can be harder to handle than the physical feature. For that reason most parents do opt for surgery, but there are plenty of celebrities who’ve spoken about their own experiences of polydactyly, offering proof that it’s completely normal. Bond girl and St Trinians star Gemma Arterton was born with six fingers on each hand, and subsequently had them removed. “I feel like we’re one-step ahead,” she’s said. “a sign of things to come. We could do more stuff if we had extra fingers – faster texting, emailing, better guitar-playing.”

Comments and Questions

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I have an extra thumb or pinky I'm not sure which it is. It's on my left side next to my thumb. Mines a little different though. It hangs off of my skin and it's pretty annoying and always gets I the way. It's heavy too. I've never showed it to any one but I showed it to my friend once and she made fun of me. Since then I've been even more insecure about having six fingers. I was supposed to get surgery on it in 7th grade (now in 8th) but I moved out of state and the hospital never contacted me back. I really want my extra finger removed. It's stopped me from doing so many things. But it's also my fault for caring about others opinion. Thanks for listening to my story! Please comment your experience!(: I'd love to hear them!





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On my mom's father side of the family all have extra pinkies but I have a little stump but the thing is I have an older brother and a little sister who doesn't have it only me my mom and my grandfather side of the family why is that?





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On my mom's father side of the family all have extra pinkies but I have a little stump but the thing is I have an older brother and a little sister who doesn't have it only me my mom and my grandfather side of the family why is that?





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Myself an all three children had extra digits on pinkies as infants. Anyone else have a family history of this? I do not know my biological father and just trying to gain some knowledge





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I had extra fingers and toes. It runs in my family - every other person on my fathers side of the family has it.

My newborn baby boy has an extra thumb. Upon reading info on to it suggests that its linked to several syndromes non of which I have a clue about. So my question is what are these syndromes and how could they effect my son





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i also have extra finger . some of them make fun of me . but i don't care of it i feel it is a gods gift because I am different from others.





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I was born with an extra finger on each of my little fingers, but my parents told me it was removed when I was a baby. However the stump is still very visible and most of my friends in school think it's cool that I have six fingers. Even though my extra finger may not be as visible as that of other people. I appreciate that there is something different about me.





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I have an extra thumb on my right hand and it never bothers me ....its tiny and has nail and is very cute...My friend used to comment about it earlier but now its ok .I just believe it to be a god's gift





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Hi, Our baby boy was born with an additional digit on the side of the little finger on each of his hand. The doctors have told us that it cannot be corrected until there is funding available for it. It's such a shame as we would want it to be removed. Read a message here that it could take up over 3 years. Really getting a sinking feeling to it.





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My daughter was born with the same on both hands and she had them removed on the nhs when she was 8 months old. Hope it all works out for you x

don't worry its not that bad it could be worse

Hi, My son is 15 months old and was born with an extra digit on each hand and foot. We went to the GP when he was newborn, and they reffered us straight to Alderhey. They told us they couldn't operate until he was one but he was on the list. We actually go tomorrow for surgery, but go to your GP because they deffo have the skills and the funding! I hope this helps :)

I have 6 toes on each foot. But I've told anyone but I think my friends know from siblings l. I never show my feet and in so embarrassed by it :( I want it removed.





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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