Baby Girl Born With 14 Fingers, 12 Toes In Rajasthan; Why Do Genetic Anomalies Happen

A woman from Rajasthan's Kaman town in Bharatpur has given birth to a baby girl with seven fingers in each hand and six toes in each foot in a government hospital. Doctors have diagnosed the baby with polydactyly, a rare phenomenon that is a genetic, congenital abnormal disorder. Read on to know why it happens and is polydactyly safe.

Updated Sep 19, 2023 | 12:02 PM IST


The infant has seven fingers each on her palm and six toes each on her foot

New Delhi: In a rare case, a baby girl was born with 14 fingers and 12 toes in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur, according to news reports.
The condition, known as polydactyly, is a rare phenomenon that is a genetic, congenital abnormal disorder. Experts say extra fingers and toes are usually small and irregularly developed.
The infant, believed by the family to be an incarnation of a Goddess, has seven fingers each on her palm and six toes each on her foot.
Doctors say the child was born to his 25-year-old mother Sarju in the eighth month of pregnancy, due to a complication that has nothing to do with his extra fingers and toes.
“Having extra fingers is not harmful in any way to the child, but it remains a congenital defect. The baby is perfectly healthy,” Dr. BS Saini, a pediatrician at the local government hospital told reporters.

What is polydactyly?

Scientists say even though being born with an extra finger or toe does not mean the baby will have any long-term development issues, it is, however, possible that the genetic code will be passed on further to the kids in the family.
Polydactyly is one of the most common birth defects affecting the hands and feet of babies but does not cause any ailment or developmental disorders in the future.
According to studies, African-American and Asian babies are ten times more likely than white ones to be born with polydactyly. Male infants are more likely to be born with polydactyly than females.

Why do genetic anomalies happen?

According to Harvard Health, genetic disorders are often the results of disruptions to the fetus’ genes, the biological building blocks that parents pass down to their children, while they are developing.
Anything that changes a gene while the baby is developing can cause changes in their body, which many times are not noticed, and other times can cause issues like polydactyly and other congenital conditions.
If something affects the genes that are responsible for developing your baby’s limbs, hands, and feet, there’s a chance they might be born with polydactyly.
Research says some forms of polydactyly are dominant traits, in which if one biological parent carries the genetic code for it, their babies have a 50 per cent chance of being born with polydactyly.

How can polydactyly be treated?

Experts say polydactyly is usually corrected by surgically removing the extra digits from a child’s hand or foot. Surgery includes tying a tight string or band around the base of the extra finger that cuts off its blood supply. A week or two later, the extra finger will fall off.
The process is termed medically safe and does not endanger blood flow to their other fingers or the rest of their body. However, surgery is usually only used if the baby’s extra finger does not have any bones or other connective tissues developed in it.
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