Hypoplasia - Consumer Justice Foundation


Written by Andrew Sarski on January 8, 2011
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Types of Hypoplaisa Birth Defects

Hypoplasia of the fingers occurs when a child is born with abnormally small thumbs and/or fingers, resulting in difficulties with simple tasks like playing with toys and grasping objects. Not only are the digits small, but the underlying structures of the fingers, including the bones, muscles and nerves, may also be compromised. Hypoplasia of the fingers can occur under any number of circumstances, including the following:

  • The finger is small but the bones, ligaments, muscles and joints are normal
  • The finger is small, the tendons and muscles are abnormal, and the fingers are webbed
  • The bones of the finger are small, there are abnormalities in the joints and muscles, and there is webbing in between fingers
  • The finger has no bones in it and it is attached only by soft tissue and skin

Another form of this defect is Hypoplasia of the nails, characterized by missing or extremely underdeveloped fingernails or toenails. In some instances, the nail is present but it is barely visible or only covers a small portion of the nail bed. If the nails are present, they may be covered with cracks or furrows. Hypoplasia of the nails can create severe complications for an affected child, as malformed or missing nails create a greater potential for infection and other serious illnesses.

Hypoplasia of the midface is the most severe of these malformations and occurs when a child is born with an underdeveloped upper jaw, eye sockets and cheekbones. While the rest of the face has grown to a normal size, these areas appear to be sunken in and the eyes appear to bulge out of the child’s face. Some of the more serious complications associated with this condition include severe drying of the eyes, obstructive sleep apnea and malocclusion, or the improper meeting of the upper and lower jaws.

Treatment for Hypoplaisa Birth Defects

A child suffering from hypoplasia of the fingers will require surgery to correct the malformation and restore the hand to its normal appearance and function. Hypoplasia of the midface will require multiple reconstructive surgeries over a long period of time, in order to correct the malformation and improve the position of the nose, eyes, upper jaw and teeth. Unfortunately, there is no cure for hypoplasia of the nails beyond treating the symptoms that arise from the defect. The ability to reverse the condition is unlikely and surgeons have experienced little success in restoring the nails to their natural growth and function. The necessary treatment for hypoplasia of the midface, fingers and nails will depend upon the severity and location of the condition; more serious instances may require treatments that continue throughout the child’s life.

Hypoplasia Lawsuits and Drug Injury Attorneys

Defective drugs can result in major birth malformations which may cause long-term complications for an affected child, or even death. If you or a loved one has suffered from a birth injury like hypoplasia and you believe pharmaceuticals to be the cause, you should seek the help of an experienced attorney immediately. Many cases of birth injuries associated with the use of pharmaceuticals have led to class action lawsuits. You may be entitled to reimbursement for damages, and a qualified lawyer can help you collect the compensation you deserve.

Posted Under: Drug Side Effects
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