Hrithik Roshan – the Bollywood moviestar – has a very unusual thumb, which was not easy at all at young age. But in time he learned to accept (and love) his abnormality; Roshan once described:

“I had this extra thumb…I stammered and in school – you know what kids are like – well, it was hell most of the time. My being quiet and sensitive came about as a consequence. I never felt normal. I always felt abnormal. I always felt I did not fit in.”

NOTE: On a technical level one can describe Roshan’s thumb as a combination of two abnormalities: polydactyly + syndactyly.


More impressions & info about Hrithik Roshan’s thumb are available at:

A Tribute to Hrithik Roshan’s thumb!


PS. There are many more celebrities who have unusual hands; to mention a few:  Denzel Washington, Megan Fox & Thom Yorke.

Any parent would be eager to see that his/her baby is in healthy status when the child is born. They would count the fingers and toes of the baby. If the child does not have a perfect set of 10 fingers and 10 toes, that would usually upset them of the abnormality. Dr. Mohd Iskandar Mohd Amin, Consultant Orthopedic, Hand and Micro surgeon at Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur says that seven in 1,000 babies are born with congenital hand deformities worldwide.

Thirty percent of congenital hand deformities are caused by genetic abnormalities, while 10 percent are linked to environmental causes. The remaining 60 percent happens for no known reason.

Dr. Iskandar says that the most common type of congenital hand deformity is caused by developmental problems while the baby is in the womb.

The common types of deformities are:

Syndactyly (failure of separation)

It has two categories – simple syndactyly (fusion of soft tissues between the two fingers) and complex syndactyly (fusion of soft tissues and bones of two fingers).

Polydactyly (duplication of extra finger)

It has three categories – Type 1 (an extra finger is attached by the skin and nerves), Type 2 (the extra finger is attached to the bone or joint of the little finger) and Type 3 (a completely formed and functional extra finger attached to the hand).

Brachydactyly (undergrowth)

The thumb of the fingers is usually small and underdeveloped. Some fingers may be missing.

– Macrodactyly (overgrowth)

The thumb, index finger or forearms are abnormally large due to overgrowth of bone and soft tissue.

– Constriction Band Syndrome

The fingers become malformed because of constriction by the fibrous bands of the amniotic sac which were entangled with the fetus’ fingers in the mother’s womb. Sometimes, the bones, muscles and tissues are joined together like a flower bud.

Dr. Iskandar mentions the irony is that the child often does not feel the hands are abnormal until he/she enters school and undergoes societal pressure. He adds that children being amazingly versatile are usually able to manage their daily life even with their deformed fingers or hands.

He explains; “the parents and the grandparents are the ones who are most distressed when they have children with congenital deformities. They wish to know whether it is hereditary and whether the siblings will have the same deformity.”Another anxiety is about whether the child will have normal function and it will be a cause for undergoing ridicule in later life.

Microsurgery for congenital hand deformities remains a highly specialized surgical or sub-specialty as the surgeon needs to have in-depth knowledge of orthopedics, neurology, plastic surgery and neurosurgery.Undergoing counseling by the parents and grandparents before the surgery is vital to better manage their expectations. It is also good to talk to support giving nurses and parents who are in similar circumstances to share their thoughts, fears and tears.

Dr. Iskandar says that usually surgery helps to improve the appearance of the hands, such as removing an extra thumb or pinky finger.He elaborates, “In some cases, surgery is done to enable the child functioning of the hand, for instance, when a child is having flower bud fingers needing a thumb and forefinger to manage buttons and zippers best. However, sometimes it is not possible to make a child’s hand ‘normal’, but he/she can function well with it, at least.”
In order to reduce physical and psychological scarring, usually surgery is performed within the first two years of the child’s life. It also enables new hand to function with full potential and for new growth and development.

Sometimes congenital hand deformities are a part of other conditions, i.e. Appert Syndrome, an underdeveloped face, nose and skull bone or Holt Cram Syndrome, often accompanied by congenital heart disease.In such situations, it is necessary to correct the other underlying problems first as they are life-threatening issues.

Source: The Nation

The 15 fingers + 16 toes of a Chinese boy!

Last year (2010) another report was made about an unnamed 6-year-old Chinese boy who had 16 toes and 15 fingers.

The boy had unprecented 31 digits, which included 15 fingers and 16 toes! But I am not sure that it would have been recognized as a world record because obviously in the fingers there is ‘syndactly’ involved, which implicates that not all fingers would have been counted – just like in the case of Heramb Ashok Kumthekar:

Anyway, the Chinese boy’s family did not go to apply for a Guinness World Record, rather sent him to Shengjing Hospital affiliated with China Medical University in Shenyang recently to undergo a surgery to remove the extras because he suffered from the inconvenience in the daily life and also being ridiculed from peers of the same age at his school. So appearantly the parents made a very sensible decision.

Participate in the discussion about these RECORD fingers & toes:

 Almost two years ago, we reported the case of Heramb Ashok Kumthekar, a Marketing student from India who has 12 fingers + 14 toes. While the current ‘polydactyly‘ Guinness World Record of having 25 fingers & toes is still in the hands of a boy named Devendra Harne & a girl named Pranamya Menaria – who are both living in India, Kumthekar’s case was not officially recognized because some of his fingers were webbed (syndactyly). But earlier this week a new case of 26 fingers & toes was reported in Myanmar (former Burma).

YANGON, Myanmar — A 16-month-old girl has been recognized as the world record holder for total fingers and toes – 26!

Le Yati Min was born with 12 fingers and 14 toes. Her family has already coined and copyrighted the phrase, “Give me a high-six!” in both Burmese and English.

A neighbor and friend of the family spoke to reporters outside the girl’s small wooden home, “She already counts higher than all the other kids. She got lucky, I guess. We’re just waiting to see what she can do with a typewriter. We’re guessing she’ll be up to 90 or 100 words per minute by the time she’s five, I mean, six.”

Her mother, Phyo Min Min Soe, also told reporters that Le has not been bothered by the extra digits and has “a good grip on things.”

A neighbor and friend of the family spoke to reporters outside the girl’s small wooden home, “She already counts higher than all the other kids. She got lucky, I guess. We’re just waiting to see what she can do with a typewriter. We’re guessing she’ll be up to 90 or 100 words per minute by the time she’s five, I mean, six.”

Her mother, Phyo Min Min Soe, also told reporters that Le has not been bothered by the extra digits and has “a good grip on things.”

Hand of a new born baby.

[tweetmeme source=”handresearch” only_single=false] In the hours after a baby is born, the baby will have several tests and examinations to check that he is healthy and well. Knowing what the doctors are looking for will put your mind at rest and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have. What is included in the ‘new born baby hand test’?


“The baby’s arms, hands, legs and feet will be checked. The fingers and toes are counted to make sure they are all there and to check for webbing (syndactyly). The hand palms will be checked for two palmar creases; a single palmar creases (a.k.a. simian line) is less common, however 4 per cent of the population have one palmar crease on one hand and 1 per cent have one palmar crease on both hands. This is sometimes associated with Down’s syndrome but in the unlikely event of your baby being affected there would be other hand signs, such as the ‘high positioned axial triradius’.”

Development of the hand lines in a baby hand!
Hand characteristics in Down’s syndrome!
Hand characteristics in fragile-X syndrome!
Preserving the shapes of a babies’ hands!

12 Fingers & 14 toes: a new Guinness World Record?Last year various sources around the world reported that Heramb Ashok Kumthekar, a 22 year old marketing student from Pune was born with 12 fingers and 14 toes. The current Guinness World Record holder for having the most fingers and toes in the world is an Indian young boy named Devendra Harne: he has only 12 fingers and 13 toes. However, the student from Pune is not able to claim a new record.

Heramb’s extra digits are caused by the medical condition called ‘polydactly‘, which translates from the Greek for “many fingers”. However, even though his hands have separate bones, technically some of his fingers are attached – this condition is called ‘syndactyly‘.Heramb Ashok Kumthekar says:

“I am happy about it because I have something that others don’t have. I never had a problem with it and after I get publicity I will be famous because of it.”
The congenital condition of having extra fingers occurs in one in every 500 births. Famous holders of extra digits include the beheaded ex-wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn (who was rumoured to have an extra finger on her left hand), the Bollywood superstar Hrithik Roshan (one of Indian cinema’s rising stars has one extra digit on each hand), and recently the new James Bond Girl Gemma Arterton admitted that she was born with 6 fingers on each hand (an extra pinky finger).


Heramb Ashok Kumthekar has 14 toes.