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What is a Hand Difference?

Aussie Hands supports children and adults who have been born with a hand difference and those who have an acquired hand difference. This includes people who have experienced cancer or an accident. Why do we use the term ‘hand difference’? People may be more familiar with terms such as “congenital hand abnormality”, “hand deformity” and “hand disability” which are often used by medical professionals. Aussie Hands uses the words hand difference as it is positive and empowering term. Another common term is “lucky fin” which refers to the movie Finding Nemo (Nemo the fish has one fin smaller than the other).

Hand differences are diverse and can impact one or both hands. Hand differences include having shorter fingers, webbed fingers, missing finger bones, or entirely absent fingers (ranging from missing one to all fingers). People may have ‘nubbins’, small stumps of soft tissues where the finger would have developed. Additionally, hand differences can encompass conditions which affect the arms such as shortened arm bones, rigid or displaced wrists and the absence of the arm above or below the elbow.