Pattern of Congenital Hand Anomalies in the Paediatric Surgical and Orthopaedic Out-Patient Clinics of a Tertiary Center in South-South Nigeria: A 5-Year Prospective Study
Background: Congenital hand anomalies are a wide array of congenital anomalies of poorly understood etiologies mostly affecting the fingers. They constitute 10% of all congenital anomalies seen in children. Emotional worries and the attendant resort to wrong treatment options could arise from poor parental counselling.
Aim: To present the pattern of congenital hand anomalies in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) over a five-year period.
Methods: Patients presenting with congenital limb anomalies to UPTH, from January 2015 to December 2019 were consecutively sampled.
Associations between the anomaly and demographic characteristics were analyzed with Chi-square and Fisher's exact test as appropriate. P < 0.05 was termed statistically significant.
Results: Fifty-two hand anomalies in 27 patients were studied over the 5-year period. The total number of pediatric surgical consultations from both clinics within the same period was 562 giving a prevalence of 9.3%. Polydactyly was the most common congenital hand anomaly (23%, n=12) followed closely by syndactyly (19.2%, n=10). The association between the identified anomalies and the gender of patients was not statistically significant (P = 0.07).
Conclusion: Congenital limb anomalies are fairly common in the study population. Data available for this study may create the needed platform for proper discussions between parents and surgeons on expected treatment endpoints which may improve acceptance of available treatment options and reduce delays in presentation.
Key Words: Limb anomalies, congenital limbs, pediatric limb anomalies, polydactyly, syndactyly
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