Understanding the Specifics of Upper Extremity Birth Differences, Part 2

It has been far too long since my post on the “Why” of Birth Differences.  I apologize and I know at least some of you have been awaiting this post.  No excuses but I am now on a new platform and the transition took time. This is Part 2 in which I will review some of the […]

2 Reasons for Less than 5 Fingers

 A brief post with lots of pictures and videos on two conditions that may cause less than five fingers.  As I have previously written, there are 5 common causes.  Parents have given permission. Diagnosis 1.  Symbrachydactyly.  This patient has a great thumb and nubbins past the metacarpals.  However function is excellent.  The child will likely […]

2 Common Types of an Uncommon Condition- Symbrachydactyly

When I consider all of the different patients with a birth anomalies that I have the privilege to evaluate and treat, there is no question that symbrachydactyly is the diagnosis most often misnamed or unnamed.  Amniotic constriction band is perhaps most commonly given as the incorrect diagnosis for the patients. Symbrachydactyly literally means short, webbed […]

The Elbow in Birth Differences of the Upper Extremity

The elbow is not commonly discussed around the topic of birth differences of the upper extremity.  We discuss fingers, wrist, and forearm most commonly.  The shoulder is also occasionally involved but much less so compared even to the elbow.  My goal in this blog post is to highlight some of the birth differences that may […]

Only a thumb. Amazing outcome!

A child with a single digit may have one of two primary diagnoses.  If there is a single digit– most resembling a little finger, the diagnosis is likely ulnar deficiency– most resembling a thumb, the diagnosis is symbrachydactyly Other diagnoses affecting the fingers include amniotic band syndrome which typically affects the central digits and causes […]

Symbrachydactyly- The typical form defined

I have posted a few times on symbrachydactyly and those posts can be found HERE.  In addition, there are several reasonable summaries at other sites including this free ARTICLE from a friend and colleague, Michelle James.  Many hospital sites also offer a brief summary of the diagnosis.  In my practice, it is not common that patients come […]

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 […]

Simple Surgery for Symbrachydactyly

I have posted on several times on symbrachydactyly, with one post HERE.  Each child with symbrachydactyly, and really any birth difference of the upper extremity, is unique. No matter their bony and soft tissue deficit, their family situation and functional needs must also be considered.  So even if two kids look similar, I believe that musculoskeletal […]

Short Fingers- Treatment Choices

Symbrachydactyly means short and webbed fingers but the term really includes a wide range of presentations.  I have previously posted on symbrachydactyly a number of times and this Post summarizes the 7 different types of hand appearance.  I have also written that I prefer certain techniques to lengthen the fingers such as bone lengthening or web space […]

Scarring after Syndactyly

Syndactyly, or the fusion of digits, is a condition present at birth and is related to the failure of the fingers to separate in utero.  I have previously blogged about this condition, as seen here.  There are different surgical techniques to correct syndactyly and generally good results are obtained, no matter the technique.   Scarring is […]

Symbrachydactyly of the Hand: Diagnosis and Presentation

Confirmation of a diagnosis of symbrachydactyly can be challenging.  Most patients who present to my office with symbrachydactyly come in with a different diagnosis- typically amniotic constriction band (also known as constriction band syndrome, amniotic band syndrome, etc)- Amniotic Constriction Band Blog 1; Blog 2.   In fact, most patients with any upper extremity diagnosis present with […]

Symbrachydactyly, now what?

I have posted on symbrachydactyly several times in the past.  https://congenitalhand.wustl.edu/search/label/Symbrachydactyly There are, by different symbrachydactyly classifications, 7 types: short finger cleft type (thumb and small finger present) peromelic (nubbins) monodactyly (only the thumb present) wrist bones present (but nothing more distal) wrist bones absent (ie, arm ends at the end of the forearm) transforearm […]

Short Fingers- Brachydactyly

I have written several times about symbrachydactyly– that is short, webbed fingers.  This common condition is distinctive in appearance (although there are multiple different types).   I have actually written 10 posts that relate to symbrachydactyly.  https://congenitalhand.wustl.edu/search/label/Symbrachydactyly Brachydactyly, or short fingers, is a different condition as there are the normal 5 digits with shortening of […]

Symbrachydactyly of the Foot

Symbrachydactyly, or short webbed fingers, is a birth difference which almost always affects one arm.  I have blogged about this anomaly several times- this is a link to all relevant posts.  https://congenitalhand.wustl.edu/search/label/Symbrachydactyly One of the ways we differentiate symbrachydactyly from other anomalies is that it is almost always affects only one arm.  When more than […]

The Future of Prosthetics??

A National Public Radio (NPR) story has brought attention to 3-D printing and the world of prosthetics.  http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/06/18/191279201/3-d-printer-brings-dexterity-to-children-with-no-fingers Prosthetic limbs are tricky for any age patient and especially for children.  First, prosthetics are expensive and the growing child needs new prosthetics on a regular basis due to growth.  Second, prosthetics can be a challenge to […]

Toe Transfers

Symbrachydactyly may present in different forms although the thumb is typically well formed.  Reconstructive technique are varied and can include free toe transfers as I have previously writtenhttps://congenitalhand.wustl.edu/2013/01/toe-transfers.html . I recently saw a symbrachydactyly patient back for followup 10 years after initial treatment.  We had, after a lengthy family discussion in 2003, treated the 9 month old patient […]

Amazing People

I will try to share links to interesting people and news stories as I become aware. Here is a new link.  I do disagree with the diagnosis (amniotic constriction band)- instead, based on what I can see, it looks like symbrachydactyly. http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/15/tech/innovation/adrian-anantawan-violinist/index.html?iref=allsearch Here is one such link to an amazing basketball player (near and dear […]

Toe Transfers

There are 2 types of toe transfers for children born with hand deficiencies: vascularized complete toe transfer and non vascularized transfer of a toe phalanx (i.e., just the bone).  Vascularized toe transfers are considered for children with absent digits, typically in cases of symbrachydactyly (or transverse arrest) or amniotic constriction band.  One or two toes […]

Severe Symbrachydactyly and Nubbins

Symbrachydactyly, as noted previously, https://congenitalhand.wustl.edu/2011/12/normal.html  means “short, webbed fingers.”  The use of this label is clearly appropriate for some children who (brace yourself for this truth) have short and webbed fingers (i.e., a syndactyly).  The term symbrachydactyly has further meaning as it has implications for etiology (i.e., cause). I believe symbrachydactyly occurs due to difficulties with the AER […]

September 2012 Travels

It has been too long since I last blogged.  Several catch- up blogs are on the way.  In the meanwhile, I have been to several interesting events in the last month. First, we had our annual St Louis Shriners Hospital Hand Camp.   There were approximately 18 children with their families, 10 junior counselors, and […]

Symbrachydactyly Web Deepening

Web space deepening is a straightforward surgical technique to provide a deeper space between fingers.  There are several variations of the technique of web space deepening, typically based on the number of skin flaps that are utilized.  These techniques include 2- flap, 4- flap, 5- flap and other variants; precision is required for all.  A […]

Finger Lengthening

Lengthening a finger or thumb may be a good treatment option for a number of conditions including symbrachydactyly, constriction band syndrome, and ulnar deficiency.  Essentially any congenital or traumatic condition that leads to a shortened digit (or digits) may interfere with function.  If lengthening that digit will help pinch or large object grasp (i.e., soda […]

Symbrachydactyly

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 […]