Although my parents were informed of my Poland syndrome diagnosis during infancy, I have always been shocked by the lack of detail they received about the condition. All my mom knew was that the right side of my body was affected, and despite the noticeable deformities to the right side of my body, I’d live a mostly normal life.
As I’ve grown up, however, I’ve learned that part of that lack of information had to do with the fact that the condition is so rare that most doctors barely even learn about it in medical school. Because of this, many people don’t learn about the finer details of this rare disorder (like the nine facts listed below) until they receive a diagnosis and research Poland syndrome on their own.
1. Poland syndrome is a congenital health condition.
Whether they realize it or not, individuals with Poland syndrome are born with the condition. This makes it a congenital health condition. Upon delivering the baby, doctors often notice the abnormalities and complete the physical exam or other tests needed for diagnosis.
However, some mild cases of Poland syndrome may not be evident until a child begins to experience growth spurts. In fact, some people don’t find out they have Poland syndrome until they reach puberty.
2. Poland syndrome can affect both muscle and bone development.
The main commonality people with Poland syndrome have is missing or underdeveloped pectoral muscles. However, the condition can also affect other muscles and bones throughout the upper portion of the same side of the body where the pectoral muscles are missing or underdeveloped. This includes the chest and ribs, shoulders, arm, and hand. Personally, I have a mixture of muscles and bones that are underdeveloped and/or missing.
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