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July 11, 1959


Author Affiliations

104 Dalton Rd. Paoli, Pa.

JAMA. 1959;170(11):1340. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010110088021

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To the Editor:—  Authors persist in stating that syndactylism is the commonest congenital deformity of the hand. This statement appears in the latest edition of Bunnell's Standard textbook, "Surgery of the Hand" (ed. 3, Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott Company, 1956); in Barsky's "Congenital Anomalies of the Hand and Their Surgical Treatment" (Springfield, Ill., Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 1958); and in the just-published "Orthopaedics: Principles and Their Application" by Turek ( Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott Company, 1959). This contention is not borne out by a survey of congenital anomalies as recorded on birth certificates in Pennsylvania covering the years 1951-1955, inclusive, which indicates that polydactylism of the fingers is the most frequently recorded of all congenital anomalies, with a total of 703 cases. In contrast to this, only 85 cases of syndactylism of the fingers were recorded in the same period, a ratio of more than eight to one. Even allowing for

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