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Arachnodactyly

Arachnodactyly is a condition in which the fingers are long, slender, and curved. They look like the legs of a spider (arachnid).

Considerations

Long, slender fingers can be normal and not associated with any medical problems. In some cases, however, "spider fingers" can be a sign of an underlying disorder.

Causes

Causes may include:

Note: Having long, slender fingers may be normal.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Some children are born with arachnodactyly. It may become more noticeable over time. Talk to your health care provider during a routine exam if your child has long, slender fingers and you are concerned that an underlying condition may exist.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about the person's medical history, including:

  • When did you first notice the fingers being shaped like this?
  • Is there any family history of early death? Is there any family history of known hereditary disorders?
  • What other symptoms are present? Have you noticed any other unusual things?

Diagnostic tests are most often not necessary unless a hereditary disorder is suspected.

Alternative Names

Dolichostenomelia (refers to a long, slender body, not just fingers); Spider fingers; Achromacria

References

Doyle Al, Doyle JJ, Dietz HC. Marfan syndrome. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 702.

Herring JA. Orthopaedic-related syndromes. In: Herring JA, ed. Tachdjian's Pediatric Orthopaedics. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 41.

Update Date 11/3/2015

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