Congenital Hand and Upper Extremity Experience

The clinical evaluation and operative treatment of congenital anomalies is an integral part of our fellowship experience. We have the opportunity to evaluate and care for affected children at both Saint Louis Children’s Hospital and the Shriners Hospital for Children. 

The congenital experience is a high-volume educational experience that is broadly based.  We evaluate children of all ages, beginning with prenatal consultation, through the newborn period and continuing until skeletal maturity. The large volume of ‘low frequency, high impact’ anomalies allows us to perform detailed assessments of the functional and aesthetic challenges faced by both patients and families. The patient interactions in clinic are supplemented by a busy operative schedule.

A detailed understanding of the current and historical literature is necessary for ideal treatment. We feel that an understanding of limb development and classification is critical for a true understanding of upper extremity anomalies. Once these topics are understood, a detailed discussion of all of the common anomalies and deficiencies is undertaken. Congenital Journal Club and lectures supplement the direct clinical experience and help to solidify the key educational points.

Congenital Topics Include:

  • Brachial Plexus
  • Central Deficiency, Central Polydactyly
  • Cerebral Palsy of the Upper Extremity
  • CRHD
  • Embryology & Classification
  • Hypoplastic Thumb
  • Madelungs
  • PRUS
  • Radial & Ulnar Polydactyly
  • Radial Longitudinal Deficiency
  • Symbrachydactyly, Digital Lengthening
  • Syndactyly
  • Ulnar Deficiency

We feel it is our responsibility to help move the field of congenital hand surgery forward both through the performance and publication of high quality clinical research and also the sharing of our knowledge with others.  There are many opportunities to participate in research projects, including both multicenter and prospective endeavors.   

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