To be born with three arms is a rare condition which affects one in a million infants. The boy had two arms on his left side when born. Doctors performed a procedure at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital in Gujarat, India, in December, to remove the extra limb when he was just over two weeks old. A native of Bhavnagar, also in Gujarat, he has a rare condition called Polymelia, which causes a person to be born with extra limbs, often arms or legs.
The uncommon disorder happens in the womb when the cells form abnormally during embryonic development. The embryo starts to develop as conjoined twins. However, one twin ceases to grow, leaving rest of the developments, such as limbs, of the undeveloped twin attached to the body of the live baby. The boy’s CT scan showed he was also born with a club foot, was missing a kidney and one of his testicles was inside his stomach. His father Ramesh Makwana, is a diamond worker.
The procedure to remove the extra limb was performed on Wednesday, December 17, by Dr Rakesh Joshi, head of paediatric surgery at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. Dr. Joshi said,”We realised that apart from the extra arm on the left side the baby had a right club foot and a missing kidney.”
Polymelia is a kind of birth defect that affects just one in a million infants and causes sufferers to be born with extra limbs. The cells in the womb form abnormally during embryonic development to cause this rare disorder. Another Polymelia case occurred in 2005 – where a baby girl named Destiny was born with a fully formed extra leg in Detroit as a result of a conjoined twin not fully developing in the womb. Furthermore, in March 2006, a baby boy ”Jie-jie” was born in Shanghai with a fully formed third arm. Also in July 2007 a child was born with four legs at the Lebowakgomo hospital outside Polokwane in South Africa.
One famous case is of Lakshmi Tatma who was born with eight limbs in India in 2005. In 2007 doctors at Bangalore’s Sparsh Hospital in Bangalore, India, successfully removed her extra limbs.
Dr. Joshi confirmed that they also straightened the club foot by putting it in plaster. He explained that absence of kidney will not hamper the child’s health or his ability to lead a normal life. The baby boy’s father told the newspaper: ‘We have a daughter. We were hoping for a baby boy to complete our family and were happy when our son was born. ‘But when we came to know about his condition, we were worried – all we wanted was a healthy baby.’
The boy will undergo further treatment in the form of physiotherapy for his functional left hand and his club foot. In 2012 a girl from Pakistan was reportedly born with a third arm due to Polymelia. The extra arm was connected to her back near her spinal cord. At age of four she underwent an operation to remove the extra arm. She’s among the rare cases of Polymelia, in the world. Also in 2012 a three-year-old boy from Peru underwent an operation to remove the body of a ‘parasitic twin growing inside of his stomach.’ One of the most popular cases of Polymelia was of Lakshmi Tatma, from India, who was born with eight limbs. A parasitic twin who had ceased to develop and perished in the womb was connected to her body. Her extra limbs were finally removed in 2007.