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An 11-year total population study of Western Australia examined the prevalence and epidemiology of congenital upper limb anomalies. All anomalies were classified according to the International Federation of Surgical Societies of the Hand classification. We found the prevalence of babies born with upper limb anomalies to be 1 in 506. Forty-six percent of those affected had another nonhand congenital anomaly. Fifty-one percent had bilateral hand anomalies, and 17% had multiple different hand anomalies. The most common anomalies were failures of differentiation (35%), duplications (33%), and failures of formation (15%). Congenital upper limb anomalies were more common in boys; preterm, postterm, and multiple births; and older mothers. No significant differences in prevalence or frequency of anomalies were found between whites and nonwhites, left and right sides, and in babies that survived and those who died shortly after birth.

Original publication




Journal article


J Hand Surg Am

Publication Date





628 - 634


Female, Fingers, Hand Deformities, Congenital, Humans, Male, Prevalence, Western Australia