Yes, you can get dragged on the internet for pretty much anything these days. Take Megan Fox, for example, who, just a few years ago, was the victim of online trolls because of—get this—her thumbs.
Turns out, Megan’s thumbs are, well, kind of shaped like toes—toe thumbs, if you will. She even opened up about said toe thumbs on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno back in 2012, saying “they’re weird and they’re really fat.” So there you have it…toe thumbs.
Hold on, I need more of an explanation here. What exactly are toe thumbs?
So toe thumbs actually have a medical name: brachydactyly type D, according to Alejandro Badia, M.D., a board-certified hand and upper extremity orthopedic surgeon with Florida-based Badia Hand to Shoulder Center.
Basically, toe thumbs occur when the last bone on the thumb—or the distal phalanx—is congenitally shortened, says Badia. “This means you are simply born with a short thumb at the tip which does imply there will be a cosmetic issue with the nail plate, of course,” he says, adding that brachydactlyly simply means “short digit,” leading most surgeons to call it “stub thumb.”
Badia says that, like many congenital differences, there is no clear cause for toe thumbs, adding, however, that there does seem to be a higher prevalence in certain populations. According to a 2008 study published in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, the prevalence ranges anywhere from 0.41 percent to 4 percent, with a particularly higher occurrence of toe thumbs reported amongst Israeli Arabs and in the Japanese population.
And if you have ’em, then it’s typically an all-in-the-family situation: Badia says toe thumbs are commonly inherited independently of other hereditary traits, and are “associated with the HOXD13 gene, which is thought to be critical in digit development.”
So…is it bad to have toe thumbs?
Nope. There are no functional consequences that come with toe thumbs other than the fact that certain hobbies or professions—say, a pianist—might require or prefer a longer thumb “for obvious reasons,” Badia says.
“There really is no specific management or treatment for this condition,” he adds. “And any attempts at cosmetic lengthening of the distal phalanx [thumb] can lead to further damage or deformity to the nail matrix which is responsible for nailplate growth and appearance,”
So yeah, it sounds like if you’ve got toe thumbs like Megan Fox, you’re kinda stuck with them. Honestly, there are worse problems to have though, amirite?
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