from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A birth defect in which the upper portion of a limb is absent or poorly developed, so that the hand or foot attaches to the body by a short, flipperlike stump.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A congenital disorder of the limbs, the affected person being born with abnormally short or missing bones and flipper-like hands or feet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In teratology, a condition in which the hands and feet, one or all, are seemingly attached directly to the trunk, the intervening bones of the extremities being extremely short.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an abnormality of development in which the upper part of an arm or leg is missing so the hands or feet are attached to the body like stumps; rare condition that results from taking thalidomide during pregnancy


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

New Latin phōcomelia : Greek phōkē, seal + Greek melos, limb.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Ancient Greek φώκη "seal" + μέλος "limb".


  • Taking into account the safety and ef fi cacy of given the name 'phocomelia'.

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  • Doctors in Australia, England, and Germany were seeing not only peripheral neuritis, but something much more disturbing in the offspring of their thalidomide patients: a sudden increase in cases of phocomelia, a birth defect in which limbs fail to develop, and which leaves infants with hands and feet growing directly from their shoulders and hips.


  • He was born with lower-body phocomelia after his mother was given thalidomide for nausea during pregnancy: the bones of his legs failed to develop, leaving his feet to articulate directly with his pelvis.

    Thalidomide Comes Back

  • When he graduates in May, he doesn't want to be remembered as the guy with phocomelia. stories

  • Growing up in his new home in Baldwin City with five other children, Andreas 'phocomelia didn't play a role in how his siblings treated him. stories

  • Researchers thought phocomelia was possibly caused by thalidomide, a drug that was prescribed in the 1960s to treat anxiety and morning sickness in pregnant women. stories

  • When the state officials saw phocomelia on his application, they thought it was a disease that would get worse over time. stories

  • Because Andreas is adopted, his family does not know the direct cause of his phocomelia. stories

  • Andreas Brandenberger, a senior from Baldwin City, has phocomelia, a rare birth disorder that causes severe defeats, especially in the upper limbs. stories

  • He was born with phocomelia, a rare disorder that left him with no thumbs, wrists or forearms, and two partial hands with only two digits on each. stories


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