Multiple synostoses syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by premature onset of joint fusions, which initially affect the interphalangeal joints, by characteristic facies, and by deafness. We performed linkage analysis on a large Hawaiian family with multiple synostoses syndrome. Because another autosomal dominant disorder, proximal symphalangism, shares some clinical symptoms with multiple synostoses syndrome and has been linked to markers at loci at chromosome 17q21-22, we tested the hypothesis that multiple synostoses syndrome is linked to the same chromosomal region. Using polymorphic markers from the proximal symphalangism interval, we conducted linkage analysis and showed that the multiple synostoses-syndrome phenotype is linked to the same chromosomal region. A maximum LOD score of 3.98 at recombination fraction of .00 was achieved for the marker at locus D17S787. Further genetic analysis identified individuals with recombinant genotypes, allowing localization of the disease gene within the interval D17S931-D17S792, a 16-cM region. These data provide evidence that multiple synostoses syndrome and proximal symphalangism may be allelic disorders.