Congenital deformities include a broad range of physical abnormalities existing from birth, although some, such as scoliosis, may not manifest until later in life. The most common are craniofacial deformities, such as cleft lip or palate, and skeletal deformities, such as clubfoot or spina bifida. The impacts of congenital deformities can be primary, such as delays in the development of motor and language skills, or secondary, such as social ostracism and low self-esteem. Surgical procedures may help with many of the physical abnormalities, although these can involve multiple surgeries and may cause more stress for the child and family members. Congenital abnormalities are best thought of as chronic illnesses; multidisciplinary, as well as psychosocial, interventions at the individual, family, and community levels are usually recommended.
There are two main types of birth defects: structural and functional/developmental. Structural birth defects are related to a problem with body parts. Some physical problems include cleft lip or cleft palate, heart defects, such as missing or misshaped valves, and abnormal limbs, such as a club foot, knock knees etc.
Functional birth defects are related to a problem with how a body part or body system works. These problems often lead to developmental disabilities and can include things such as:
Congenital limb defects occur when a portion or the entire upper or lower limb fails to form normally when the baby is developing in the uterus. Congenital limb deformities include congenital hand deformities (upper limb) and congenital deformities of the foot (lower limb).
The cause of congenital limb defects is unknown. However, risk factors that may increase the likelihood of a congenital limb defect include the following:
Specific treatment for congenital limb defects will be determined by your child's physician based on:
Treatment options for correcting congenital deformities of the hand and foot may include:
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