Babies with radial dysplasia (also called radial club hand) are
born with a short or missing radial bone.
The radial bone (also
called the radius) is one of the two forearm bones. The short or missing radial bone
causes the hand and wrist to turn inward toward the thumb side of the forearm. It
also makes the forearm shorter than normal.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Radial Dysplasia?
There are four types of radial
. Signs and symptoms depend on what type of radial dysplasia a child has.
This is the mildest form of radial dysplasia. The radius is just a little shorter
than normal and the wrist turns in only slightly.
The radius is much smaller than usual and the wrist is more turned in.
A large part of the radius missing and there is more severe turning in of the wrist.
The other bone of the forearm (the ulna)
is curved and thickened.
There is no radius at all. The wrist is very turned in.
In all types, the thumb may be smaller than usual or completely missing. Radial
dysplasia can happen on one or both sides.
What Causes Radial Dysplasia?
Radial dysplasia happens while a baby is developing in the womb. It may be part
known as VACTERL syndrome.
In this condition, the baby may have:
Vertebral (spine) differences
Anal atresia (an anus that does not open to the outside of the
Cardiac (heart) problems
(a connection between the breathing and swallowing tubes)
Renal (kidney) issues
Limb differences in addition to the radial dysplasia
Sometimes it can happen as part of other genetic
syndromes where there are other medical problems too.
Who Gets Radial Dysplasia?
Any baby can be born with radial dysplasia. It does not run in families.
How Is Radial Dysplasia Diagnosed?
A prenatal ultrasound
might show radial dysplasia. Otherwise, doctors diagnose it when a baby is born.
X-rays of the bones in the hands and arms will help doctors decide on the best
kind of treatment. Other tests might be done to see if the radial dysplasia is part
of a genetic syndrome.
How Is Radial Dysplasia Treated?
Treatment for radial dysplasia depends on how severe the changes are. Treatment
surgery to center the wrist or to make the thumb better
Even with challenges, children with radial dysplasia are very good about finding
ways to use their hands well. Some tasks can be adapted, like having shoes with Velcro
instead of laces. Work with the medical team to help your child learn what works best.