Newsworthy Prosthetics Symbrachydactyly

First Pitch World Series

Hailey Dawson has been in the news over the last few months as she seeks to throw the first pitch in all the Major League Ballparks.  Well, she took a big step tonight on the biggest stage- the World Series!  World Series Story.   What a great story which helps to raise awareness of birth differences of hand and upper extremity and 3D printed prosthetics.

Hailey has symbrachydactyly associated with Polands syndrome.  Symbrachydactyly means short, webbed fingers but it can be very different from patient to patient.  It appears that she has a reasonably well developed thumb and otherwise small digits (monodactyly type).  I have posted a number of times about symbrachydactyly, as can be found HERE.  Included in those links is some information on Poland syndrome as well.  Poland syndrome is the lack of development of a portion of the chest muscle, the pectoralis major muscle.
While I am confident that Haley functions quite well with her normal left hand and a very functional right hand, the 3D printed prosthetic can offer function, appearance, and social benefits as noted in these posts, from my blog.  These 3D printed prosthetics are inexpensive, relatively easy to make, easy to use (depending on something called the tenodesis effect in Hailey’s case) and are available in a variety of styles and colors.  There are many examples of these on the web and it seems the UNLV is helping Hailey and her family.  A recent Review Article summarizes the state of 3D printed prosthetics for the upper extremity and cites our experience here in St Louis.  We continue to refine the powered 3D printed hand (so- called myoelectric hand) with the support of the St. Louis Childrens Hospital Foundation.  Here are two of more recent 3D printed prosthetic hands.
3D Printed hand in one of our younger patients

3D printed myoelectric hand developed in St. Louis
Go Hailey!  
Charles A. Goldfarb, MD
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