Profile of congenital digital anomalies in children seen in two tertiary health facilities in Southern Nigeria


  • Okoro Philemon Ekemenye Department of Surgery, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  • Otene Cletus Ikechukwu Department of Surgery, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria



Congenital, Digital anomalies, Foot, Hand, Outcome, Pattern, Treatment


Background: Anomalies of the digits are among the common congenital limb anomalies seen worldwide. Whereas the majority of these digital malformations are relatively minor and require simple treatment, some of them are complex and often associated with other anomalies and systemic disorders. Reports on the occurrence of these anomalies and their treatment are scanty in our region. The study sought to evaluate the burden of these digital anomalies among paediatric patients seen in our centres and outcome of treatment.

Methods: Study was carried out as a prospective study in two tertiary health facilities in Southern Nigeria between June 2014 and May 2019. Data obtained and analyzed were the patients’ gender, age, family history, type of digital anomaly, the limb/s involved, other limb anomalies, systemic disorders, treatment given, outcome, and duration of follow up.

Results: A total of 113 children with anomalies of the fingers and or toes were seen during the study period, but 104 were analyzed. They comprised, 63 (60.6%) were males and 41 (39.4%) females giving a male female ratio of 1.5:1. Polydactyly was by far the commonest digital anomaly and the upper limbs were mostly affected. Associated anomalies contributed significantly to morbidity and mortality in those cases.

Conclusions: Digital anomalies are fairly common surgical problems in our region. Though majority of cases are mild and are easily treated, the more complex ones still pose a challenge to treatment in our practice. There is need for more interest and training among surgeons in our region to improve the surgical care and outcome of treatment of these digital anomalies in our region.


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Original Research Articles