Synpolydactyly of the hand: a radiographic classification

J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2016 Mar;41(3):301-7. doi: 10.1177/1753193415598281. Epub 2015 Aug 12.


Synpolydactyly is an uncommon congenital anomaly characterized by polydactyly with syndactyly in the central hand. The purpose of this investigation was to develop and assess the reliability of a radiographic classification system for synpolydactyly. We identified 56 hands with central synpolydactyly and developed a radiographic classification system that categorizes by the location within the hand, the bony level of polydactyly, and the presence of a delta phalanx. Four paediatric hand surgeons independently reviewed each radiograph to establish reliability. There was exact agreement among raters in 40 cases (71%). The inter-rater reliability was 0.97 and intra-rater reliability was at least 0.87. Seven of 16 bilateral cases had symmetric deformity classification. The most common presentations were types 1A and 2A. We present a new, reliable radiographic classification system for synpolydactyly that will allow improved communication between clinicians and serve as a foundation for future investigations.

Level of evidence: 2.

Keywords: Polydactyly; classification; radiograph; reliability; syndactyly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Observer Variation
  • Radiography*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Syndactyly / classification*
  • Syndactyly / diagnostic imaging*

Supplementary concepts

  • Syndactyly, type 2