Complications of SCD: Dactylitis (Hand-Foot Syndrome)

At a glance

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited blood disorders associated with severe pain and complications that can affect the entire body. This page provides information on SCD and dactylitis (Hand-Foot Syndrome).

Mom reading thermometer while holding toddler.


Painful swelling in the hands and feet is usually the first symptom of SCD in infants and toddlers. This swelling, often along with a fever, is caused by the sickled cells getting stuck in the blood vessels and blocking blood flow in the small bones of the hands and feet.