Got a Clubbed Thumb? Here are 10 Things You Live With All The Time

Brachydactyly is a term that refers to disproportionately short fingers and toes

Nail clubbing may sound intriguing, sort of like a party for your hands. But the truth is, this condition isn’t a rave you can attend at a trendy night spot with all your friends. In fact, it’s a nail (and toe) deformity that a few folks have to live with—and it pretty much means dexterity as a physical trait is ruled out.

Curious about this condition? Here’s what clubbed thumbs actually are as well as some of the activities that are affected (or improved!) by this condition, because anyone who has clubbed thumbs knows it's not all bad news.

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What Are Clubbed Thumbs?

Clubbed thumbs, which can also occur in other fingers and on the toes, is a widening or enlarging of the fingertips and a curving of the nails around them. Finger and toe clubbing may develop as a result of a number of ailments, including cystic fibrosis as well as lung, heart and inflammatory bowel diseases. Clubbed thumbs or “toe thumbs,” officially named brachydactyly type D, are caused by a genetic mutation and they feature end bones that are shorter than usual and much wider-than-normal nails. While these fat bulging fingers and thumbs may be a little unsightly, they aren’t typically treated and they don't cause pain.

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10 Things Anyone With a Clubbed Thumb Understands

1. Your thumbs are like a party trick.

Need to liven things up at a snoozy fundraiser? You can always whip out your clubbed thumbs and make people guess what happened to them. (Nope, not a saw accident). Or you could ask folks to guess which model-actress has the exact same condition (Answer: Megan Fox!). If she can survive it and prosper too, there’s certainly hope for the little people.

Related: Megan Fox Has a Message For Anyone Hating on Her Thumbs

2. You’ll save money on nail polish.

Folks who gnaw their fingernails and cuticles to bloody nubs tend to avoid nail polish since it only serves to highlight their lack of willpower. You too can save big bucks on this beauty staple if you’d rather not draw attention to your clubbed thumbs. Plus, polish-free nails must be popular somewhere (or maybe you’ll start this trend!).

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3. You break things on the reg.

Nimble you’re not—which is why you almost never help the hostess out by clearing the table. At home, you strive to be super careful with your clubbed thumbs while handling plates, wine glasses and other fragile items, but the fact is, your dish collection leaves much to be desired.

4. Knitting isn’t your go-to hobby.

We’re not saying you can’t knit with clubbed thumbs. But manipulating those skinny needles and then wrapping yarn around your digits to stitch a scarf you’d want to wear in public might be a bridge too far. Other crafts you don’t enjoy: bonsai pruning and making gingerbread houses.

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5. Chopsticks is your piano jam.

Yeah, your piano playing is more “plink, plonk” than gorgeously melodic, which means you stick to “Chopsticks” as it only uses index fingers. As a kid, you were also directed to choral groups, though if you insisted on being in the band, you probably played triangle or rang the cow bell.

6. No one understands your texts.

Clubbed thumbs make pushing those tiny keys on your iPhone sort of impossible. Autocorrect helps a bit, but frankly, you prefer to dictate your messages. And when it comes to emojis and reactions, you’re the queen of laughing at someone’s funeral details. Thanks, short thumb!

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7. You’re a member of an elite club.

Flying private to the Hamptons may not be on your schedule and you don’t have a standing lunch reservation at Chateau Marmont. But having clubbed thumbs still means you’re in a rarefied club (get it?). Indeed, just 3% of the world’s population has a club thumb.

8. But your condition isn’t that strange.

Remember middle school math? Three percent of all the people on the planet is a lot—in the millions! This means you’re bound to meet up with someone on a plane, train or at the mall with the same type of hands you have. There are even clubbed thumb groups on Facebook!

Related: What to Know If Your Feet Always Feel Cold

9. You really dig mittens.

Facts: Wide nails and stumpy digits make it hard to find sleek leather gloves that fit well. But when it comes to chunky mittens made of stretchy material, you’ve got a drawerful.

10. Your dog doesn’t mind in the least.

Who’s a good boy!? Your pup loves a good scratch on her ears and belly anytime you’re willing—and she doesn’t care if your thumbs are stubby. Your funny thumbs are also great for holding your tot’s hand while crossing the street and hugging your honey. #thumbgoals

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