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Congenital transverse failure of formation of the upper limb can be described according to the level of growth arrest. It is also known as 'congenital amputation'.
Anomalies are usually unilateral and sporadic. Typically, there is no association with other congenital anomalies.
Growth can stop at any level, i.e. shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, carpus, metacarpal or phalanx. However, typically it occurs in the proximal third of the forearm - a 'short below-the-elbow defect' - or at the wrist. Rudimentary digits are sometimes present at the end of the amputation stump. Other more common examples include amelia and brachymetacarpia.
Traditionally, congenital growth arrest is best treated by introducing a prosthesis from an early age.