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Congenital limb deformities can be damaging to children. In a number of cases, they can lead to amputation. Consider a recent article for the Des Moines Register titled “Amputees golf for a cause at Willow Creek.”

MacKenzie Elmer of the Des Moines Register writes, “The Iowa Amputee Golf Association held its 24th annual tournament this year at Willow Creek Golf Course in Des Moines. The event raises money toward a college fund for young amputees or children whose parents underwent an amputation. About 32 people participated in Saturday’s event, ranging from men and women who experienced an amputation just three months ago to those with congenital amputations like Cory Watson. Watson, a first-year board member, was born without his left arm but played sports since he was kid. ‘I think the reason why I came out here is because it’s an amazing opportunity to meet people throughout the Midwest,’ Watson said. ‘It’s good to talk through it and stay positive. Regardless of when and how it may have happened, all of us have had to overcome adapting at one point in our lives.’ ‘When somebody asked (Abbott) about his disability, he said, ‘I don’t look at it as a disability. I learned to do it my way and, heck, maybe at the end of the day, my way’s easier,’’ Watson said. ‘I think that’s an awesome way to look at it.’”

It often takes this extraordinary optimism to overcome congenital limb deformities. This is exemplified in an article for the Midland Reporter-Telegram titled “Quadruple congenital amputee doesn’t let anything stop her.” Erin Stone of the Midland Reporter-Telegram writes, “Some people hold a tennis racquet with one hand, others with two, but 13-year-old Vanessa Rodriguez plays tennis with no hands, a fact she once boasted to a group of middle school boys while waiting for her match. They didn’t know what to say, but Vanessa’s used to that. She often leaves people speechless with her wit and athletic ability. She is a dedicated athlete, playing volleyball, tennis and running track for St. Ann’s School. With all of her talents and bright personality, it is easy to forget that she has no hands or feet: Vanessa was born a quadruple congenital amputee, referring to her shortened limbs as ‘nubbies.’ According to research by the National Limb Loss Research Center, about 1,000 children are born with some kind of ‘limb difference.’ Rarely are all four limbs affected, and such birth defects almost always have an unknown cause.”

Surgery is an option for many congenital limb deformities. Rex E. Moulton Barrett, M.D. is a surgeon you can trust for this procedure. Dr. Moulton-Barrett is board certified with The American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Congenital limb surgery is done as a day procedure. The surgery for your child will be based on their exact condition. For more complex cases, it may require complex surgery. Surgery may involve carefully cutting through or around bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons and other tissues to remove the extra digit. Then the surgeon may need to move or reconnect some structures before closing the skin so the whole hand or foot works well and looks normal.

If you are considering congenital limb surgery, contact us for a consultation.