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article imageDoctors operate on Chinese boy with 15 fingers, 16 toes

By Edwin Manaois     Mar 23, 2010 in Science
Doctors at a hospital in Shenyang, Liaoning province in China successfully operated on the toes and fingers of a boy born with 15 fingers and 16 toes.
To remove the extra fingers and toes, the operation took six-and-a-half hours, and was a success, the China News Service reported.
According to expert the abnormality is caused by a genetic mutation. It is usually called polydactylism (from Ancient Greek, polus "many"), also known as hyperdactyly, is a congenital physical anomaly in humans having supernumerary fingers or toes.
The extra digit is usually a small piece of soft tissue that can be removed. Occasionally it contains bone without joints; rarely it may be a complete, functioning digit. The extra digit is most common on the ulnar (little finger) side of the hand, less common on the radial (thumb) side, and very rarely within the middle three digits. These are respectively known as postaxial (little finger), preaxial (thumb), and central (ring, middle, index fingers) polydactyly. The extra digit is most commonly an abnormal fork in an existing digit, or it may rarely originate at the wrist as a normal digit does.
With this abnormality, the boy complained he was being ridiculed by schoolmates and was called a 'monster', his mother said.
Such an abnormality happened also to a Dominican Republic native, Tirso Furcal, who had extra finger and two extra toes. The stone polisher had difficulty walking and his abnormality prevented him to find better paying work. A team in a New Jersey hospital had successfully removed the extra digits back in 2004.
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