melo-, mel-, -melia +

(Greek: melos, limb, body extremity or member; a condition of the limbs or extremities of a body; such as, arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, etc.)

A developmental anomaly consisting of imperfect limbs on one side of the body.
1. A congenital abnormality (as total or partial absence) affecting only the distal half of a limb.
2. A developmental anomaly characterized by absence of all or part of the distal half of a limb.
An individual exhibiting hemimelia.
1. A condition in which there is an unusual enlargement of one or more body limbs.
2. An abnormal size of one or more of the bodily limbs.
An abnormal largeness of one or more limbs.
melagra (s) (noun) (no pl)
Rheumatic, myalgic, or muscle pains in the arms or legs: Carol's doctor told her that the pains she felt in her legs were termed melagra and were probably caused by some physical hurt or by a disease.
Pain in a limb or limbs; specifically, burning pain in the feet extending up the leg and even to the thigh.
Pain in the lower limbs.
1. Partial absence of a free limb; such as, hemimelia, phocomelia.
2. Congenital absence of part of an arm or leg.
An abnormal smallness of one or more limbs.
1. A condition of having disproportionately short or small limbs; micromelia.
2. Achondroplasia: a birth deformity characterised by imperfect bone formation. It results in dwarfs with normal-sized heads but short arms and legs.
peromelia, peromely
1. A severe congenital malformations of extremities, including the absence of a hand or a foot.
2. A severe congenital malformation of any or all extremities; usually, to a severe degree.
phocomelia (s) (noun), phocomelias (pl)
1. The defective development of arms or legs, or both, so that the hands and feet are attached close to the body, resembling the flippers of a seal.
2. An anomaly in which the hands or feet (or both) are attached directly to the shoulders or hips.
3. A congenital malformation (birth defect) in which the hands and feet are attached to abbreviated arms and legs.
4. Absence or markedly imperfect development of arms and forearms, thighs and legs, but with hands and feet present.
5. Etymology: a combination of Greek phoco-, "seal (flipper)" and Greek melia, "limb, extremity" to designate a human limb like a seal's flipper which is a consequence of exposure in modern times of the developing fetus to thalidomide medication.

An historical example of a phocomelic.
Here is an example of phocomelia from the 16th century.

Word Info image © Copyright, 2006.

Recent chromosomal studies have suggested that, in addition to the drug-induced anomalies, other cases of phocomelia may have a genetic basis

Phocomelia was probably recognized in the early years of Babylonian rule, because the teratologic records of Chaldea mention an infant with hands and feet like fish tails or fins.

The 1675 French edition of the surgical text of Scultetus contains an illustration of a case of phocomelia with harelip, an association that has since been observed by others.

A great reputation was achieved by malformed Marc Cazotte, who presented himself to public exhibition during the latter part of the eighteenth century, with the name Pépin. He had no arms and legs; his hands were attached to his prominent shoulders, his feet to his hips.

He was described as a clever man, with a mastery of four languages and with great manual dexterity, Pépin traveled around Europe on horseback, where he attracted large crowds. He died at the age of 62 in Paris, where his skeleton is preserved in the Musée Dupuytren.

—Compiled from excerpts in Obstetrics and Gynecology,
Dr. Harold Speert, Parthenon Publishing Group, 2004.
phocomelic (adjective), more phocomelic, most phocomelic
A reference to anyone who has an absence or significant imperfect development of arms and forearms, thighs and legs, but who has hands and feet.
phocomelic dwarfism (s) (noun), phocomelic dwarfisms (pl)
A condition of being much smaller than an average person in which the shafts of the long bones are abnormally short or the intermediate parts of the limbs are absent.

Related bodily-malformation word units: phocomel-; terato-, tera-.

Related "foot, feet" units: ped-; planta-; podo-; -pus.

Related "leg, legs" word units: cruro-; skel-, scel-.