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J Hand Surg Am. 1988 Jul;13(4):535-9.

Acquired rotational digital deformity in children as a result of finger sucking.

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Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC 20060.


Although most attention to the harmful effects of finger sucking by infants has been on the potential dental deformities, finger deformities also occur. The three cases presented in this article describe radial rotation of the index finger as a result of persistent finger sucking. In the majority of cases rotational deformities spontaneously resolve once finger sucking ceases. In a few cases, particularly when the habit is unduly prolonged, deformities may persist and cause functional impairment. In these patients surgical intervention is indicated. In our cases the rotational digital deformities were treated successfully by rotational osteotomy of either the metacarpal or the proximal phalanx.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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