Congenital disorders are those present at birth, including deformities and developmental disorders. Hereditary and/or environmental factors cause these disorders. Many congenital conditions can be corrected if treated early. 

These disorders include:

  • Clubfoot
  • Dwarfism
  • Hand and foot deformities
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Limb deformities
  • Sprengel’s deformity 

Clubfoot describes a range of foot abnormalities usually present at birth in which your baby’s foot is twisted out of shape or position. The term “clubfoot” refers to how the foot is positioned at a sharp angle to the ankle, like the head of a golf club. Clubfoot is a relatively common birth defect and is usually an isolated problem for an otherwise healthy newborn. However, clubfoot can be mild or severe, affecting one or both feet. Clubfoot will hinder your child’s development once it’s time for your child to walk, so treating clubfoot soon after birth is generally recommended. Treatment is usually successful, and the appearance and function of your child’s foot should show improvement.

Dwarfism is short stature that results from a genetic or medical condition. Dwarfism is generally defined as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches or less (147 centimeters). The average adult height among people with dwarfism is 4 feet (122 cm). Treatments for most dwarfism-related conditions don’t increase stature but may lessen complications.

Hand and foot deformities include:

  • Syndactyly: Fusion (webbing) of the fingers.
  • Polydactyly: A condition in which extra fingers are present.
  • Trigger finger/thumb: This involves painful snapping or locking of a digit.
  • Hypoplastic digits: A condition of underdeveloped fingers.
  • Cleft hand: This condition involves a split hand.
  • Radial club hand: Bones are absent in this condition.
  • Hammertoe: A condition in which toes are curved like a hook.
  • High arch: A higher than normal arch.
  • Flat foot: A condition where the tendon that supports the arch is weak.
  • Footdrop: A condition where it is difficult to lift your foot at the ankle.

Hip dysplasia is the medical term for a hip socket that doesn’t fully cover the joint. The abnormal hip structure puts excessive pressure on the joint, which can cause pain and arthritis as early as age 20. The hip socket can be repositioned to correct hip dysplasia. If dysplasia has severely damaged the hip joint, you may need hip replacement surgery. If dysplasia is diagnosed before arthritis develops, one treatment option is periacetabular osteotomy surgery to reposition your hip socket.

Limb deformities in children can occur in the upper or lower extremities and may result from congenital defects in fetal development or acquired during growth. In addition, deformities may arise from trauma, infection, benign and malignant tumors, or medical conditions. These deformities include bowlegged deformity, knock knees and growth plate injuries.

Sprengel’s deformity (also known as High scapula or Congenital high scapula) is a rare congenital skeletal abnormality where a person has one shoulder blade that sits higher on the back than the other. The deformity is due to a failure in early fetal development where the shoulder fails to descend properly from the neck to its final position. The deformity is commonly associated with other conditions, most notably Klippel-Feil syndrome, congenital scoliosis including cervical scoliosis, fused ribs, the presence of an omovertebral bone and spina bifida. The left shoulder is the most commonly affected but the condition can be bilateral, meaning that both shoulders are affected. About 75% of all observed cases are females. Treatment includes surgery in early childhood and physical therapy. Surgical treatment in adulthood is complicated by the risk of nerve damage when removing the omovertebral bone and stretching the muscle tissue during relocation of the shoulder.