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open access eISSN 2093-3673

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Case Report

Anat Cell Biol 2023; 56(4): 584-587

Published online December 31, 2023


Copyright © Korean Association of ANATOMISTS.

Polymelia (thoracomelia), an extremely rare appearance of congenital anomalic limb in a Nepalese child and its embryological basis

Ameet Kumar Jha1 , Samal Nauhria2 , Sabyasachi Maity3

1Department of Anatomical Sciences, St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine, Georgetown, 2Department of Pathology, St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine, Georgetown, Cayman Islands, 3Department of Physiology, Neurosciences and Behavioral Sciences, St. George’s University School of Medicine, True Blue, Grenada

Correspondence to:Ameet Kumar Jha
Department of Anatomical Sciences, St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine, Georgetown KY1-1204, Cayman Islands
E-mail: ameetjha197@gmail.com

Received: June 30, 2023; Revised: July 28, 2023; Accepted: August 11, 2023

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Polymelia is an extremely rare congenital anomaly where an individual is born with an abnormally developed extra or supernumerary limb which is generally shrunken and functionless. A case of thoracomelia (a type of polymelia) was observed macroscopically and confirmed radiologically in 1.5 years old boy born in Nepal with an abnormal supernumerary upper limb attached to his back in the thoracic region. The limb was successfully amputated, and the boy had a favorable outcome after surgical treatment, without any adverse effects or impairment. Understanding the embryogenesis of thoracomelia is essential for unraveling the complex mechanisms underlying this condition and potentially aiding in early diagnosis and intervention. This case report and review aims to shed light on the intricate processes governing forelimb formation and their perturbations leading to thoracomelia.

Keywords: Polymelia, Supernumerary upper limb, Upper extremity deformities, Congenital limb deformities, Musculoskeletal diseases

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