Congenital Limb Deficiencies Specialist

David S. Feldman, MD

Orthopedic Specialist located in West Palm Beach, FL

While rare, congenital limb deficiencies have the power to negatively affect virtually all aspects of life, from childhood into adulthood. World-renowned orthopedic surgeon David S. Feldman, MD, and his team understand the importance of comprehensive care for congenital limb deficiencies, and work to help families in West Palm Beach, Florida and those traveling from all over the world, find the right treatment path. Schedule a consultation online or by phone today to learn more.

Congenital Limb Deficiencies Q & A

What are congenital limb deficiencies?

This term describes conditions in which part or all of a limb fails to develop while a fetus is in utero. There are various ways the condition can manifest, including:

  • Unusually small limb
  • Unusually large limb
  • No limb at all
  • Lack of separation between fingers or toes
  • Extra fingers or toesResearchers are uncertain of the exact causes of congenital limb deficiencies. There is evidence to support a link between these conditions and the following factors:
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke 
  • Maternal exposure to certain chemicals, medicines, or viruses
  • Growth restrictions while in utero
  • Genetic abnormalities

Congenital limb defects can sometimes be noted during routine ultrasound imaging, although some cases aren’t diagnosed until the time of birth. 

What are some types of congenital limb deficiencies?

There are several types of congenital limb deficiencies, each with a specific treatment path.

Congenital femoral deficiency

A rare hip disorder in which the femur bone is abnormally short. This can lead to instability in related joints like the hip and knee. There are four subtypes that increase in severity. 

Fibular hemimelia

This is a deformity of the lower leg in which some or all of the fibula bone is missing. Children and adults with fibular hemimelia often suffer from foot deformities, knee abnormalities, and limb length discrepancy. 

Tibial hemimelia

This deformity includes a missing or abnormally short tibia bone. Knee and ankle deformities are also commonly present, and your fibula might also be affected. Some people have only minor forms of tibial hemimelia, while others have more severe consequences. 

What is the treatment approach for congenital limb deficiencies?

Dr. Feldman has extensive experience treating all types of congenital limb deficiencies. He approaches each case as a unique set of circumstances, and works to develop a treatment plan that improves limb function both now and throughout the lifespan. 

Treating congenital limb deficiencies requires a skilled hand and a great deal of training and experience. Dr. Feldman works with a team of outstanding medical support professionals to help you or your child navigate your customized treatment path. 

A combination of surgery and orthotics is usually required to improve quality of life and enable independence. The approach is not just a wait-and-see one. Dr. Feldman is able to predict the limb length difference at maturity and then create a life plan for the child, which includes a preparatory surgery by age 3 and then limb lengthening planned and performed starting at approximately age 5. Limb modification is also an option, and works to create a balance between the affected and unaffected limbs. 

Knee reconstruction, ankle fusion, and procedures to make use of the fibula as a tibia are all possible. There is no standard treatment path for congenital limb deficiencies. Dr. Feldman works with you to determine your best treatment options. He explains the pros and cons of each approach to enable you to make an informed decision about your care. 

Begin the process today by booking a face-to-face consultation with Dr. Feldman online or over the phone.