Thalidomide embryopathy

Case contributed by Evangeline Collins
Diagnosis certain


Rotational force, reduced range of motion, increasing pain, fracture. Known thalidomide exposure.

Patient Data

Age: 60 years
Gender: Male

Obvious skeletal malformation of the upper limb such as (phocomelia), radial ray anomalies with markedly hypoplastic radius, absent thumb and carpal bones, hypoplastic curved ulna, and ulnar-metacarpal fusion.

Case Discussion

Obvious skeletal malformation of the upper distal limb in a patient with a known history of thalidomide.

The illness known as thalidomide embryopathy, which is caused by in-utero exposure to the drug, is distinguished by a number of foetal malformations. The majority of thalidomide exposure in foetuses happened between 1957 and 1961, when it was prescribed to pregnant women to relieve morning sickness.

It can lead to limb, facial and cardiac abnormalities or limited growth.

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