Taking the word literally, “sym” means joined (like “syn”), “brachy” means short and “dactyly” means finger= short, joined fingers. However, symbrachydactyly comes in many different forms. In fact, some forms of symbrachydactyly don’t have developed fingers at all. We can classify symbrachydactyly in 4 basic types- these are helpful for discussion.
– Short finger type- fingers generally well formed but short, likely webbed.
2 – Cleft hand type- absence of central digits. Nubbins may be in cleft.
3 – Monodactyly- Fingers are absent and only the thumb is present (and may not be normal). Finger nubbins may be present.
4 – Peromelia- Finger and thumb are absent and only the wrist bones are present. Finger nubbins may be present.
In addition, symbrachydactyly can end in the forearm with amputation; finger nubbins may be present at amputation site.
This child has a cleft hand type of symbrachydactyly. He was in clinic for evaluation of the index finger after stabilization. Pinch has been improved by our surgery to stabilize the index finger DIP joint (near the nail).