Limb Deformities

Congenital Limb Deformities Associated with Variety of Drugs, Factors

Congenital limb deformities are birth defects in which a fetus’s limbs or extremities do not form properly while in utero. A variety of limb deformities are possible: A baby may be missing limbs or have extra ones, or they may be misshapen. The limbs may also be over- or undergrown, or fingers or toes may fail to separate properly and appear webbed. Defects called “limb reductions” are common and include a limb that is reduced in size or missing.

Congenital limb deformities are diagnosed at birth. While they are usually not fatal or life-threatening, these birth defects may be associated with other bone conditions or problems.

Potential Causes of Limb Deformities

While the cause of a congenital limb deformity is often unknown, studies have identified several risk factors, including:

  • The mother takes anti-depressant drugs such as Celexa, Effexor, Lexapro, Pristiq, Prozac or Zoloft during pregnancy
  • The mother takes anti-psychotic drugs including Haloperidol
  • The mother is exposed to chemicals or viruses during pregnancy

Smoking and taking high blood pressure medications have also been associated with specific congenital limb deformities. Older studies suggest a possible link between oral contraceptives and these birth defects. Taking Thalidomide for morning sickness while pregnant was identified as a cause of limb defects and taken off the market in 1961; however, it is still controversially prescribed for treatment of other conditions.

Women with any of these risk factors who plan to conceive are advised to consult with their physicians.

Treatment of Congenital Limb Deformities

Babies with congenital limb deformities often have difficulty with normal development and struggle with developing motor skills, need assistance with daily activities, cannot independently care for themselves once they are older, are limited in movement, and can even develop emotional or psychological issues related to physical appearance.

Limb deformities in babies therefore require treatment that can be extensive and costly, including surgery, fitting and permanent use of prosthetics or orthotics, and counseling and rehabilitation.

If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with a limb deformity, contact one of Chaffin Luhana LLP’s limb deformity lawyers at 1-888-480-1123 immediately for a free and confidential case review. You may be entitled to compensation, and the lawyers at Chaffin Luhana can help.