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Illustrative Cases

Limb deficiencies

Limb Deficiencies

Limb deficiencies are conditions wherein either a portion or whole of the lower / upper limb fails to form normally during pregnancy. The limb is either reduced in size or is missing, resulting in an obvious deformity. Children with limb deficiencies will face a variety of challenges and difficulties involving activities of daily living including self care and mobility. Treatment will depend on the child’s age, the extent and type of deficiency as well as the child / family’s views on certain types of procedures and therapies.

The overall goal of treatment is to achieve a limb which functions well and has a normal to near normal appearance. Treatment strategies will involve surgery, rehabilitation, orthoses and prostheses. Surgical reconstruction is aimed at correcting the deformities, achieving equal limb lengths and stability of joints.

Though the child may have some residual difficulties at the end of treatment, he or she should be able to lead a productive and healthy life.

Fibular hemimelia – partial or total absence of fibula.  Most common form of lower limb deficiency.
Tibial hemimelia – partial or total absence of fibula.  Rarest form of lower limb deficiency.
Congenital Femoral Deficiency / Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency – spectrum of  deficiencies involving the femur.
Radial Clubhand – partial or complete absence of radius.  Most common form of upper limb deficiency.

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Paediatric Orthopaedics (Children's Orthopaedic Surgery) is the speciality that deals with ailments or problems affecting the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints and related soft tissues - muscles, tendons, ligaments) in children and adolescents.

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