Causes And Treatments For Syndactyly Of the Fingers
Diseases Diseases

Causes And Treatments For Syndactyly Of the Fingers

Published at 02/28/2012 20:35:40

What is Syndactyly?

Causes And Treatments For Syndactyly Of the Fingers

Syndactyly is the fusion or the joining of one or more fingers or toes.

Syndactyly of fingers is also known as webbed fingers in the hand; refers to the joining of nearby fingers. It is the most common abnormality in the basic growth pattern of the hand. The digits may be joined by skin or the actual bones itself.

There are different forms of syndactyly. When all the fingers are completely joined together, it is called complete syndactyly. It is called incomplete syndactyly when the fusion only involves part of the sides of the fingers. If the joining between the fingers only involves the flesh and the skin, it is then referred to simple syndactyly. The other form is called complex syndactyly, if the bones are joined together.

Causes of Syndactyly of the Fingers

Causes And Treatments For Syndactyly Of the Fingers

When a baby is developing inside the mother’s womb, hands and feet are also forming. Hands and feet start out like flat paddles then usually separate into five digits. When there is a failure to separate in the process, syndactyly occurs.

This type of abnormality may be caused by genetics or by environmental factors. When a child has this, it is not due to anything the mother did or did not do during pregnancy. Sometimes the problems are in the genes and can be passed down to generation to another, but often times there simply is no known explanation, it just happens.

Treatments for Syndactyly of the Fingers

Causes And Treatments For Syndactyly Of the Fingers

Treatment plans are designed to treat patients individually, depending on every patient’s treatment plans specifically for him or her. The most common treatment is surgery for syndactyly. The operation aims to separate the fingers, and to cover the separated fingers the doctors may use the skin from the fingers or skin grafts from the lower abdomen.

For babies who have syndactyly wherein the small finger or the thumb is involved, it’s not until they are 6 months old when the doctors perform an operation. This is to prevent growth distortion of the nearby ring or index finger. There will be times that multiple procedures may be required especially in a staged sequence to achieve complete separation of all the fingers.

During the time that the infant is still in the mother’s womb diagnosis may be made prenatally by ultrasound exam; the mother then may have the opportunity to meet up with her surgeon to discuss the initial surgery after the baby is born. The surgeon will examine the syndactyly condition of the baby by taking x-rays of the affected hand. There’s usually no therapy or special treatment required before the surgery can be performed.

In many cases, after surgery has been made, there is going to be a great improvement though it’s not going to appear perfectly normal, in some situations a normal appearance cannot be expected.

Untreated Syndactyly of Fingers

If syndactyly is not treated, it does not pose any health risk in a person, however if the thumb or fingers are joined out toward their tips, they might grow continuously worsening over time. It is better to perform a surgical operation in the first few months or years of the affected individual’s life to build a better self-esteem.


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