Extra Finger

We are due to have a child in a couple days. The due date is Feb 6th.
An early ultrasound indicated a possablility of an extra finger.
What do you think we should do about this?

It will be a boy if that matters. I was thinking of waiting to see what it looked like before letting the doctors remove it.

Thanks for all opinions, jokes, snide remarks, experience, gramatical comments, and the like.

Have it removed.

Is there a family history of extra fingers?

My god! They’re Taltos! :eek:

Don’t name him Rugen

Wait to see before deciding to remove it? As opposed to what, removing it now? Unless there are risks associated with waiting, I don’t think there’s any reason to make the decision until later.

I’m not sure what the options are, but it can’t be that big a deal either way, can it? Is it a fully formed finger, or just kind of a stub on one of the normal five? My grandmother had one of those when she was born (circa 1930). It was removed when she was little and it was no problem, so I can’t imagine it being troublesome in 2006.

This was what I immediately thought, although I don’t think it was the Taltos who had the extra fingers, just the witch people who could breed with them. Perhaps I’m misremembering.

Custom made gloves.

No, you’re right. But if I’d said, “My god! They’re the witch-people who can breed with the Taltos!” it would have lost a heck of a lot of punch… :smiley:

And if it’s on his right hand, keep him away from Inigo.

See if it works. I’d love a fully functional extra finger.

Some serious information is here.

The condition is called polydactyly, and is generally not serious, unless it is a marker of a more complicated genetic syndrome.

I think it really does depend on whether the finger is functional or more like a dewclaw, likely to be injured due to its own uselessness. I know a woman whose son was born with an extra, non-functional finger. It was removed when he was about a year old, and it was not a problem.

If the finger is functional, with proper bone and tendon structure, I personally would leave it. I do not believe in altering or removing healthy, functional tissue for purely aesthetic reasons. Removing a functional finger might damage the function of the rest of the hand, and I would call that a risk too great for no particular benefit. (I extend this to any healthy tissue removal, including non-therapeutic circumcision of infants, and the removal of healthy adult teeth as was done to me.)

I’m not even sure I believe in things like ear-piercing anymore. I wouldn’t do it to a child (and I have 4 daughters, none of whom have their ears pierced). I’m not entirely sure it doesn’t alter nerves in the ears (think of what an accupuncturist can do with tiny fine needles in the ears, and then poke a big damn hole in the ear without regard to the nerves there.) I know I lost most of the feeling in my ears after having multiple cartilege piercings.

I’m sure your doctor is looking into it, but there are certain syndromes associated with polydactyly, and that would be more of a concern to me than whether the hand looked “normal” or not.

More about the syndromes assocaited with polydactyly:

Ellis-van Creveld syndrome (chondroectodermal dysplasia)
Symptoms include
* Stillbirth (common)
* Death in early infancy (common)
* Dwarfism
* Short extremities, especially forearm and lower leg
* Hair abnormalities: sparse, absent, fine texture
* Cleft lip or palate
* Tooth abnormalities:
o Peg teeth
o Widely spaced teeth
o Teeth present at birth (natal teeth )
o Teeth - delayed or absent formation
* Nail abnormalities: absent nails, deformed nails
* Joint abnormalities: limited range of motion
* Extra fingers (polydactyly )
* Epispadias or an undescended testicle (cryptorchidism)
* Congenital heart defects such as a hole in the heart atrial septal defect (ASD)

Carpenter Syndrome
Carpenter syndrome belongs to a group of rare genetic disorders known as “acrocephalopolysyndactyly” (ACPS) disorders. All forms of ACPS are characterized by premature closure of the fibrous joints (cranial sutures) between certain bones of the skull (craniosynostosis), causing the top of the head to appear pointed (acrocephaly); webbing or fusion (syndactyly) of certain fingers or toes (digits); and/or more than the normal number of digits (polydactyly). Carpenter syndrome is also known as ACPS type II.

Carpenter syndrome is typically evident at or shortly after birth. Due to craniosynostosis, the top of the head may appear unusually conical (acrocephaly) or the head may seem short and broad (brachycephaly). In addition, the cranial sutures often fuse unevenly, causing the head and face to appear dissimilar from one side to the other (craniofacial asymmetry). Additional malformations of the skull and facial (craniofacial) region may include downslanting eyelid folds (palpebral fissures); a flat nasal bridge; malformed (dysplastic), low-set ears; and a small, underdeveloped (hypoplastic) upper and/or lower jaw (maxilla and/or mandible).

Individuals with Carpenter syndrome may also have unusually short fingers and toes (brachydactyly); partial fusion of the soft tissues (cutaneous syndactyly) between certain digits; and the presence of extra (supernumerary) toes or, less commonly, additional fingers (polydactyly). In some instances, additional physical abnormalities are present, such as short stature, structural heart malformations (congenital heart defects), mild to moderate obesity, weakening in the abdominal wall near the navel through which the intestine may protrude (umbilical hernia), or failure of the testes to descend into the scrotum (cryptorchidism) in affected males. In addition, many individuals with the disorder are affected by mild to moderate mental retardation. However, intelligence is normal in some instances. Carpenter syndrome is usually inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.

Trisomy 13
Trisomy 13 occurs in about 1 out of every 5,000 live births. It is a syndrome with multiple abnormalities, many of which are not compatible with life. More than 80% of children with trisomy 13 die in the first month.

Trisomy 13 is associated with multiple abnormalities, including defects of the brain that lead to seizures, apnea, deafness, and eye abnormalities.

The eyes are small with defects in the iris (coloboma ). Most infants have a cleft lip and cleft palate, and low-set ears. Congenital heart disease is present in approximately 80% of affected infants. Hernias and genital abnormalities are common.

Symptoms Return to top

* Mental retardation, severe
* Seizures
* Small head (microcephaly)
* Scalp defects (absent skin)
* Small eyes (microphthalmia)
* Cleft lip and/or palate
* Eyes close set (hypotelorism) -- eyes may actually fuse together into one
* Iris defects (coloboma)
* Pinna abnormalities and low set ears
* Simian crease
* Extra digits (polydactyly)
* Hernias: umbilical hernia, inguinal hernia
* Undescended testicle (cryptorchidism)
* Hypotonia
* Micrognathia
* Skeletal (limb) abnormalities

The infant may have a single umbilical artery at birth. There are often signs of congenital heart disease:

* Ventricular septal defect (VSD)
* Atrial septal defect (ASD)
* Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
* Abnormal placement of the heart (dextroversion -- the heart is placed toward the right side of the chest instead of the left)

Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome
Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome is a genetic disease characterized by mental deficiency, broad thumbs and toes, short stature, and characteristic facial features.

Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS) is a rare condition, affecting about 1 in 125,000 people. The gene involved in RTS, which is called CREB binding protein (CREBBP), was identified in 1995.

Most patients have mutations in the gene, resulting in an abnormal CREB binding protein. About 10% of patients, typcially with more severe problems, have an outright deletion of the gene and they do not make any of the protein.

Most cases are sporadic and likely due to a new mutation occurring during fetal development, which was not passed on by either parent. However, in some cases, it is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, which means that if one parent passes on the defective gene, the child will be affected.

The classic feature is broad thumbs and great toes, but typically there is also short stature, unusual face, low-set ears, port-wine-stain, undescended testicles in the male, and downward slant of the eyes.

* Broad thumbs and great toes
* Slow development of both cognitive and motor skills with low muscle tone
* Mental retardation
* Short stature that is noticeable after birth
* Excess hair on body (hirsutism)
* Heart defects possibly requiring surgery (about 40% of patients)
* Constipation

Smith-Lemli-Opitz/RSH syndrome
In addition to growth retardation and developmental delay, many different malformations have been described in SLO/RSH. The most common defects are:

- Microcephaly (small head)
- Extra fingers or toes
- Apparently low-set ears
- Small, upturned nose
- Webbing between 2nd and 3rd toes
-  Abnormal palmar creases (usually single)
- Cleft palate
- Hypospadias (genital malformation in boys)
- Cataracts
- Undescended testicles
- Blepharoptosis (drooping eyelids)
- Heart defects
- Micrognathia (small chin)
- Pyloric stenosis
- Short thumbs
- Hirschsprung disease (absent nerves in colon) 

Laurence-Moon-Biedl syndrome
Laurence-Moon-Biedl syndrome is an autosomal recessive condition characterised by:

* mental retardation
* retinitis pigmentosa
* hypogonadism
* spastic paraplegia
* obesity
* polydactyly
* cataract
* squint
* renal anomalies (calyceal cysts, clubbing or diverticula; fetal lobulation)

Asphyxiating thoracic dystrophy
Asphyxiating thoracic dystrophy is a very rare form of congenital dwarfism affecting the development of the bone structure, particularly of the chest (thorax) but also of the legs and arms. Typical, major characteristics include failure of the rib cage to develop correctly, kidney problems (renal failure due to polycystitis), and shortened bones of the arms and legs.

Everything **cerberus **quoted has a great probablity of being picked up on ultrasound early in pregnancy. If they haven’t mentioned any of the conditions, it’s likely just “one of those things” that no one can explain, and needs no long term worry.

I’d have it removed, but personally, wouldn’t do it until the baby was a bit older - say a year or so. I know they’re really good, but I just wouldn’t want to subject a newborn to anaesthesia. Let the poor guy incarnate into his body before filling him full of dangerous chemicals.

But if you or his mom is upset by the extra finger, by all means have it removed as soon as the doctor says it’s OK. No need to unconsciously project “ick” to the little tyke.

Try not to obsess about it in the meantime. Enjoy your baby!

Add to that the fact that these syndromes are rare, relative to the total volume of polydactyly-affected live births.

Trained physicians will likely look for these things, and have or are doing so upon noticing the polydactyly.

Umm, hi there!
This is my first post here, and I decided to make it just to tell fifty-six that things do not have to turn out as scary as they maybe seem at the moment.

My son was born with 12 fingers and 12 toes, the difference between them being that his fingers were soft and boneless, way smaller than his pinky, while the toes were fully formed, bones and everything.

When he was born, doctors suspected that his condition was merely an indivation of something bigger that’s gone wrong but, fortunately, we did some DNA tests and a bunch of other (nerve-wrecking, let me tell you) tests that proved that everything else besides the number of his fiingers is OK.

We didn’t want to send him to surgery, but it turned out that his extra toe was stopping him hrom standing properly, and the “fingers” were so soft that they used to just fall into his hand while he was trying to make a fist or grab something, thus getting in his way, so, when he was six months old, he had a surgery that removed them.

Today, he’s four years and four months old and has very good reflexes, hand coordination and dexterity (that’s another thing that the doctors said he might have a problem with later in life - I thank video games for his skills :)), and the only thing that sets him apart from other kids is the fact that he has to wear special shoes because he’s still walking a bit funny, but we’ve been told that he’ll have to wear them just for another year or so…

So, that’s my story… I don’t know if your case will have any similarities with my son’s but, whatever happens, best of luck and don’t panic! :slight_smile:
There are some doctors who seem to enjoy giving grim predictions (that’s my experience, anyway), and don’t let them get to you.

(Sorry for any typos and grammar errors - it’s early in the morning here, and my english is not so good before I have my first coffee, but I had to post this:))

Start saving for piano lessons.

Not my OP, but thanks for the informative post.

And…folks…I know the OP said thanks for the jokes, but please…try to resist, huh?