Trident hand

Last revised by Dr Mostafa El-Feky on 06 Dec 2019

A trident hand is a description where the hands are short with stubby fingers, with a separation between the middle and ring fingers. It may be used for the clinical appearance of the hand or the appearance on imaging, particularly reminiscent of a trident on fetal ultrasound 5.

It can be seen in various chondrodysplasias, including achondroplasia.

History and etymology

The trident is a three-pronged lance employed for spearing fish, and in Classical mythology was the weapon born by sea gods, such as the sea god Poseidon in Ancient Greece (or Neptune, the classical Roman equivalent). Although a similar weapon, the trishoola, with rounded tines, is also seen being carried in images of Hindu gods, e.g. Shiva and Durga 5.

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: the trident
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  • Case 1: right hand
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  • Case 2: left hand
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