Classification of Amputated, Scarred, and Fingers Missing from Birth (Henry Included)

Amputated, scarred, and missing from birth fingers are uncommon, but still need to be classified using the Henry classification system by the FBI (or any other classification system).

Moreover, classifying them is a tedious task.

There are a set of rules that are needed to be followed by a fingerprint examiner. 

So, if you’re here to know how to classify amputated and scarred fingerprints for henry’s classification number, you’re at the right place.

Later, you will learn rules that must be followed when classifying amputated, scarred, injured, and missing from birth fingers.

Table for Classifying Fingerprint in Scarred, Amputated & Finger Missing from Birth

You can find the rules and practice for each of the subdivisions of Henry’s fingerprint classification in scarred, amputated, and missing from birth at the bottom of the following page.

Henry Fingerprint SubdivisionsFingers UsedPage link
Primary Classification10 fingersKnow More
Major ClassificationThumbKnow More
Secondary + Small LetterIndex fingerKnow More
Sub-SecondaryIndex, middle, & ring fingersKnow More
Final ClassificationLittle fingerKnow More
Key ClassificationAll fingers except little fingersKnow More
Second SubSecondaryIndex, middle, & ring fingers Know More
WCDX ExtensionAll fingersKnow More
Special Loop ExtensionIndex, middle, & ring fingersKnow More

Henry Classification in Amputations And Finger Missing at Birth

To facilitate easy search, extension tags such as ‘amputation’ can be used to separate the amputated group from the regular 10 digits one. Fingers missing from birth are also categorized as amputated fingers.

Rule 1: One Amputated Finger

  • Same value (pattern and ridge counting/tracing) of the corresponding opposite finger.
  • Reference searches in every possible classification.

Rule 2: Two or More Amputated Finger

  • Same classification from opposite finger
  • No additional reference searches

Rule 3: Two Opposite Finger are amputated

  • Both fingers are given whorls with meet trace value.

Rule 4: All Fingers are Amputated

Rule 5: Both Hands are Amputated or Missing from Birth

  • Footprints are used.

A statement is required by the contributor that his/her finger is amputated or missing from birth to remove any further chance of their appearance as an injured or bandaged finger.

Classification Groups For Amputated & Finger Missing Birth

Amputated and missing from birth fingers are classified into two groups.

1. Amputated Group: It includes prints such as

  • Partially amputated finger with half or more than half pattern missing.
  • Filled as amputated and values of opposite fingers.
  • Reference searches: all possible classification in non-amputated groups.

2. Non-Amputated Group:

  • Less than half partially amputated finger
  • Reference searches: In both, normal classification (using opposite finger values) and the amputated group.

Also Read:

Classification of Scarred Fingerprints

Classification of Scarred Fingerprints

Following are the rules that you should follow while writing Henry’s classification number in scarred fingerprints.

Rule 1: Fully Disfigured Impressions

  • Unrecognizable general pattern type
  • Inconclusive ridge tracing or counting determination

Solution: Same values from the corresponding finger of the opposite hand.

Rule 2: Partially Scarred Impressions With Inconclusive Pattern type But possible Ridge Count/Trace

  • Scars in the middle of the print, such as at the core, may result in the inconclusive determination of the general pattern type.
  • Scars are not big enough to hinder reasonably accurate ridge tracing or counting.


  • Pattern Type: Corresponding pattern type of same opposite finger.
  • Subclassification Value: Ridge counting/tracing of partially scarred fingerprints.

Rule 3: Partially Scarred With Possible Pattern type determination But Inconclusive Ridge Count/Trace

  • Scars partially on the edge/s of fingers.
  • General pattern type can be determined fairly precisely.
  • Ridge counts or traces can’t be possible.


  • If the same general pattern on the corresponding opposite finger: Ridge count or trace value of the corresponding finger.
  • If different general patterns: Estimated value is assigned.

Rule 4: Both Corresponding Opposite Finger is Scarred

  • Inconclusive general pattern type
  • Inconclusive ridge tracing or counting

Solution: Arbitrary meet trace values are assigned for whorls.

Practical Explanation for Scarred Finger Classification

Part 1: Unrecognizable Scarred Pattern Type

Let’s assume the above unrecognizable scarred fingerprint is on the right thumb, and the corresponding left thumb has patterns such as:

  1. Plain arch, Tented arch, or Whorl: Pattern and ridge trace/count values of the unscarred left thumb.
  2. Loops: Same count values as the left thumb, but an opposite designation. So, if the radial loop in the left thumb, the scarred right thumb is designated by the ulnar loop and vice versa.
  3. Both Fingers are Completely Scarred: Arbitrary whorls with meet tracing value.

Part 2: Scarred Prints Pattern For Loop and Whorls

The following are the conditions where the scarred fingerprints seem to be a loop or whorls

Condition 1: Non-scarred corresponding finger has whorl pattern

Let’s say, the non-scarred left thumb is whorl, and scarred right thumb has a completely unrecognized pattern.

Scarred finger values: Same pattern type of left thumb with tracing values


  • Non scarred finger Value= Whorl with ‘O’ (outer) value
  • Scarred finger value will be= Whorl with ‘O’ value (Same)

Condition 2: Non-scarred corresponding finger has loop pattern

If the non-scarred left thumb is a radial loop, the value of scarred right thumb is given by:

Scarred finger values: Opposite loop pattern type with count values. In this case, the ulnar loop pattern type is given to scarred right thumb.


  • Non scarred finger= Radial loop with ridge counting 15.
  • Scarred finger value will be= Ulnar loop (opposite pattern type) with ridge counting 15 (same).

Condition 3: Non-Scarred Corresponding Finger with Arches

If the non-scarred left thumb is a plain or tented arch and scarred right thumb is likely to be loop or whorl.

Scarred Values: Opposite hand values can’t be used. This is because the pattern looks like a loop or whorl and there is no way it could be an arch.


  • Non scarred finger Value= Tented arch
  • Scarred finger value will be= Can’t use the same, because scarred finger seems to be a loop or whorl. So, the value must be either of two.

Part 3: Ridge Count Can’t be Determine Accurately But Pattern Does

If the pattern type of the scarred right finger is considered to be a loop with an inconclusive ridge count value.

In this case, irrespective of what’s on the corresponding left finger, the pattern type of scarred right finger will not change.

So, known scarred fingers with pattern types don’t need to borrow the pattern of the corresponding non-scarred finger.

Though, if a non-scarred finger also has the same pattern with ridge counts/trace, the value can be used by the scarred finger but only to a reasonable count.


  • Non-scarred finger: Radial loop with 21 ridge counting
  • Case 1: Scarred finger with know pattern (radial loop): Radial loop with 21 ridge counting
  • Case 2: Scarred finger with know radial loop and ridge count values seems to fall in between 14-18: Arbitrary estimate value is used rather than using the values of the non-scarred finger.

If a non-scarred finger has few counts, say, 6 or less, and it is clearly shown by a partially scarred finger has more ridge counts, in that case, the value is replaced by a reasonable possible count value (like case 2).

Classification of Bandaged or Imprinted Fingers

In most cases, bandaged fingerprints are taken after its healing.

However, if the healing can’t be possible or badly damaged to give prints, in those cases, bandaged fingers simply use the same classification rule of amputated fingers.

Rule 1: One Injured Finger

  • Same pattern value of corresponding opposite finger.
  • Reference searches in every possible classification.

Rule 2: Two or More Injured Finger

  • Same classification from opposite finger
  • No additional reference searches

Rule 3: Two Opposite Fingers are Injured.

  • Both fingers are given whorls that meet trace value.

Also Read:


  • Friction Ridge Skin: Comparison and Identification of Fingerprints by James F. Cowger [Book]
  • The Fingerprint Sourcebook by the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Fingerprint science: How to roll, classify, file, and use fingerprints [Book]
  • Fingerprint classification: A review [Springer]
  • Handbook of fingerprint recognition [Book]

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