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Exceptionally rare conjoined twins born in Indonesia possess four arms and three legs

According to the case study, the boys' third leg—typically two fused legs—was severed by the doctors, who also stabilized their hips and legs to allow them to sit up straight.

Written by  Annesha Barua -- May 16th 2024 12:29 PM
Exceptionally rare conjoined twins born in Indonesia possess four arms and three legs

Exceptionally rare conjoined twins born in Indonesia possess four arms and three legs

PTC News Desk: Conjoined twins born in Indonesia share genitalia and have four arms and three legs, an extremely rare occurrence. Scientifically speaking, these twins are one in a two million occurrences and are referred to as ischiopagus tripus.

There are very few known cases of these conjoined twins, sometimes known as "spider twins"; an account of two Indonesian boys is published in the American Journal of Case Reports. Although the twins were born in 2018, the case was just this week published in the journal.


The authors stated in the American Journal of Case Reports that "the rarity of ischiopagus tripus conjoined twins complicates the surgical separation, owing to the lack of cases and high complexity." Those who are linked via their lower body rather than their upper torso are referred to as such.

One of the twins passes away or is stillborn in more than 60 per cent of these situations. These children, however, defied all the odds. But for the first three years of their lives, the brothers' unusual body composition meant they could not sit up, so they had to lie flat.

According to the case study, the boys' third leg—typically two fused legs—was severed by the doctors, who also stabilized their hips and legs to allow them to sit up straight.

Three months following the procedure, the twins' follow-up visit confirmed that they had experienced no issues. The twins are together, and it's unclear if the medical professionals will try such a difficult procedure.

According to medical professionals, the example nevertheless shows that "there is still room for surgical correction to be performed" in situations in which separation is not achievable.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a birth abnormality of this kind occurs when the embryo only partially splits to generate two people. The embryonic offspring continue to be physically united, with the majority "often at the chest, abdomen, or pelvis" as they grow.

- With inputs from agencies

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