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Arachnodactyly

Definition

Arachnodactyly is a condition in which the fingers are long, slender, and curved. They look like a spider's legs.

Alternative Names

Dolichostenomelia; Spider fingers; Achromacria

Considerations

Long, slender fingers can be normal and not associated with any medical problems. In some cases, however, spider fingers can be a sign of an underlying disease.

Common Causes

Note: Having long, slender fingers may be normal.

Call your health care provider if

Some children are born with arachnodactyly, although it may develop over time. Consult with your health care provider during a routine examination if your child has long, slender fingers and you are concerned that an underlying condition may exist.

What to expect at your health care provider's office

The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about the patient's medical history, including:

  • Time pattern
    • When did you first notice the fingers being shaped like this?
  • Family history
    • Is there any family history of early death?
    • Is there any family history of known hereditary disorders?
  • Symptoms
    • What other symptoms are also present?
    • Have you noticed any other unusual things?

Diagnostic tests are usually not necessary unless a hereditary disorder is suspected.


Review Date: 2/2/2012
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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