Extremity Deformity

Extremity deformity can occur because of a congenital defect, injury, infection, or tumor. They can impact the appearance of a limb as well as its functionality. In severe cases, extremity deformities can be physically and psychologically debilitating. Examples of upper extremity deformities include radial club hand, syndactyly, digit duplication, constriction ring syndrome, Madelung’s deformity, and short humerus. Examples of lower extremity deformities include congeintal talipus equino varus (clubfoot), flat foot, calcaneovalgus foot, congential genu varum (bowed legs), congential vertical talus (Rocker-Bottom foot), leg length discrepancy, tarsal coalition, and metatarsus adductus. Depending on the severity of the deformity—and the physical limitations that occur as a result—treatment may be surgical or non-surgical in nature. For an infant with bowed legs, bracing may be appropriate—typically for the first 12 months. If the issue hasn’t resolved, surgery may be necessary. In some cases, the surgeon will cut the tibia and fibula close to the growth plate and realign the bones. Following surgery, physical therapy is recommended to ensure that the soft tissue that surrounds the bone heals and the muscles remain strong. If bowed legs remain untreated, the condition may worsen and the risk for arthritis in the knee increases.