The difficulties that confront the physician when he attempts to correlate the various congenital deformities of the hand that he has observed are many and perplexing. Since the etiology of some types is still not established, a scientific classification cannot be made at the present time. It may be possible, however, to simplify the picture, coordinate the known facts and marshal the various descriptive terms into some semblance of order.
Lobster-claw hand, ectrodactylism, club hand, brachydactylism, gigantism, hypodactylism and other descriptive terms have a place in the classification, but as knowledge of the etiology and pathologic processes increases, other terms more definitely descriptive and more clarifying in their relation to other lesions should supplant them.
The material used for this statistical study consists of sixty private patients, studied in the hospital. The patients were on the common service of my associates, Dr. Sumner Koch and Dr. Michael Mason, and myself.