You would not want to play baseball against him. His hand covers half of the stadium...
But Liu Hua, the 24-year-old man from Jiangsu (eastern China) with the largest hand in the world, does not pursue a baseball career. Liu suffers from macrodactylya ("large fingers"), a congenital defect in which toes or fingers are abnormally large. He went to Shanghai No. 9 People's Hospital for radical plastic surgery.
The man was born with a left thumb, index and middle finger much bigger than the others and the odd fingers grew dramatically together with his arm during his growth period, impairing severely his work and life quality.
When Liu entered the hospital in July 2007, his left thumb was 26 cm (10.5 inch) long, his index was 30 cm (12 inch) long and his middle finger 15 cm (6 inch) long. The overall weight of his left arm reached 10 kg (22 pounds).
"My thumb and index finger are even thicker than my arms, and make my left hand useless. When I go out, I have to wrap my left hand in clothes and pretend I'm holding a bag." said Liu.
"It was the biggest hand in the world. Liu's fingers stopped growing in recent years so plastic surgery was at last possible to correct the malformation," said Chen Zuliang, a hospital official.
On July 20, after a seven-hour operation, the physicians removed parts of Liu's fingers and thumb, 5.1 kg (13 pounds) of flesh and bone.
"This was the first stage. Liu will have to come back to the hospital in another six months for surgery to reshape his left arm and shoulder," said Chen Zuliang.
Liu has now three complete fingers on his left hand -- the thumb, the ring finger and his little finger, but with some training and rehabilitation he could soon start a normal life.
Macrodactyly can be due to an abnormal nerve supply to the affected digit or abnormal blood vessels and blood supply in the area. It is not an inherited condition and can be associated with neurofibromatosis and vascular malformations.
The Biggest Hand in the World
The longest finger measures 30 cm (12 inch)!