Surgery Reduces Chinese Boy's 31 Fingers and Toes By 11


Polydactyly is a condition in which a person has more than five fingers per hand or five toes per foot. Rarely is it more than one or two extra.

Yet a Chinese boy, 6, was born with 15 fingers and 16 toes. Earlier this month he underwent surgery to remove the extra digits. The surgery will allow his hands and feet to function more normally.

The surgical procedure to reduce his finger and toe count from 31 by 11 to the normal 20 was done at a hospital in Shenyang, Liaoning in Northeast China on Tuesday, March 23.

Most commonly with polydactyly, the extra digits (fingers and toes) are smaller and abnormally developed. The extra digit can be comprised of skin and soft tissue connected to the hand or foot by skin or can be a more fully formed with skeletal (bone) connections to the rest of the hand or foot.


In the hand, the extra digit(s) may be located on the thumb side (radial), the small finger side (ulnar), or in the middle (central).

This young Chinese boy’s extra fingers were located centrally and the skin fused together (syndactyly). This is much more rare than either radial or ulnar polydactyly. Photos can be seen here.

Central polydactyly is inherited as an autosomal dominant condition with variable expression, meaning that it may be more or less severe from one generation to the next.

Polydactyly occurs in approximately 1 out of every 1,000 births. Usually, only one hand is affected. In the black population an extra finger on the little finger side (ulnar polydactyly) is most common. The most common congenital hand difference in the Asian population is an extra thumb (radial polydactyly).

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