Skeletal limb abnormalities refers to a variety of bone structure problems in the arms or legs (limbs).
The term skeletal limb abnormalities is most often used to describe defects in the legs or arms that are due to a problem with genes or chromosomes, or that occur due to an event that happens during pregnancy.
The abnormalities are often present at birth.
Limb abnormalities can develop after birth if a person has rickets or other diseases that affect bone structure.
Skeletal limb abnormalities may be due to any of the following:
Call your health care provider if you have any concerns about limb length or appearance.
An infant with limb abnormalities generally has other symptoms and signs that, when taken together, define a specific syndrome or condition or give a clue as to the cause of the abnormality. Diagnosis is based on a family history, medical history, and thorough physical evaluation.
Medical history questions may include:
Deeney VF, Arnold J. Orthopedics. In: Zitelli BJ, McIntire SC, Nowalk AJ, eds. Zitelli and Davis' Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 22.
Herring JA. Skeletal dysplasias. In: Herring JA, ed. Tachdjian's Pediatric Orthopaedics. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 36.
McCandless SE, Kripps KA. Genetics, inborn errors of metabolism, and newborn screening. In: Fanaroff AA, Fanaroff JM, eds. Klaus and Fanaroff's Care of the High Risk Neonate. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 6.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 10/2/2020
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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