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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Syndactyly type 1

Other Names for this Disease
  • SD1
  • SDTY1
  • Zygodactyly
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Your Question

I was born with complete and complex syndactyly of my right hand. I would like to learn more about this and what may have caused this to happen.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is syndactyly?

Syndactyly is a term used to describe webbed or conjoined fingers. In general, syndactyly is classified as complete (fingers that are joined all the way to the finger tips) or incomplete (fingers that are joined only part way up the fingers). Additionally, syndactyly is classified as simple (fingers that are joined by skin and soft tissue only) or complex (fingers in which underlying bones are also joined together). Some patients may also have a "complicated" syndactyly that involves extra bones and abnormal tendon and/or ligament development.[1]
Last updated: 9/9/2009

What causes syndactyly?

During normal embryonic development, the hand initially forms in the shape of a paddle, and then eventually splits into separate fingers. Syndactyly results when one or more fingers fail to separate during this time. Research continues into further understanding why this happens. Many cases seem to occur without an apparent cause, while some may occur due to a genetic (inherited) defect. Syndactyly may also occur as a part of an underlying hereditary syndrome.[1]

If the cause of your syndactyly is unknown, a genetics professional may be able to assist you.

Last updated: 9/9/2009

How can I find a genetics professional in my area?

Genetics clinics are a source of information for individuals and families regarding genetic conditions, treatment, inheritance, and genetic risks to other family members. More information about genetic consultations is available from Genetics Home Reference. To find a genetics clinic, we recommend that you contact your primary healthcare provider for a referral.

The following online resources can help you find a genetics professional in your community:
Last updated: 10/18/2013