URL of this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003288.htm

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 evident over time. Talk to your health care provider 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. You will be asked questions about the medical history. This includes:

  • 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; Spider fingers; Achromachia

References

Doyle Al, Doyle JJ, Dietz HC. Marfan syndrome. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 722.

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

Review Date 9/29/2019

Updated by: Kimberly G. Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.