Clinodactyly

Last revised by Dr Henry Knipe on 01 Sep 2021

Clinodactyly is a descriptive term that refers to a radial angulation at an interphalangeal joint in the radio-ulnar or palmar planes. It typically affects the fifth finger.

The estimated incidence is highly variable dependent on sampling and has been reported to range between 1-18% ref

Clinodactly can result from a vast number of pathologies ranging from congenital to acquired.

As well as being sporadic, it can run in families with an autosomal recessive inheritance.

Although clinodactyly is often an isolated phenomenon and can be even a normal variant, there are numerous described associations which include:

Shortening or absence of the fifth finger middle phalanx can be diagnosed on antenatal ultrasound by comparing the lengths with the fourth finger middle phalanx ref.

If detected in isolation it carries an excellent prognosis.

Due to its association with chromosomal anomalies, it is considered by some authorities as a "soft sign" if detected in an antenatal ultrasound scan 5.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: isolated clinodactyly in right hand
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  • Case 2: bilateral clinodactyly
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  • Case 3: bilateral 5th digit clinodactyly
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  • Case 4: bilateral 5th digit clinodactyly
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  • Case 5
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  • Case 6
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  • Case 7: with pre-axial polydactyly
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