What is symbrachydactyly?
Symbrachydactyly is a congenital condition (a condition a person is born with) in which the fingers are not formed properly. Symbrachydactlyly is a very rare condition. It occurs in about 1 in every 32,000 live births.
What causes symbrachydactyly?
Symbrachydactyly is caused by bones in the hand not forming correctly before birth. It is likely caused by a lack of blood flow to the tissue. Symbrachydactyly is not inherited (it cannot be passed down through a family), but it is linked with some genetic syndromes.
What are the symptoms of symbrachydactyly?
The symptoms can vary widely. Normally only one hand is affected. Symptoms include:
• Short fingers in which bones are missing or are smaller than normal (brachydactyly). Sometimes referred to as “nubbins.”
• Missing fingers.
• Fingers that are joined or webbed (cutaneous syndactyly).
• Missing thumb or one that is shorter than usual.
• Short bones in the wrist or arm.
• Muscles, tendons and ligaments can be affected.
How is symbrachydactyly diagnosed?
Your doctor will perform a complete medical history and physical examination. Diagnostic procedures may include:
• X-ray: a test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make images of internal tissues on film.
What is the treatment for symbrachydactyly?
Specific treatment for symbrachydactyly will be determined by your child's doctor based on:
• Your child's age, overall health and medical history.
• Your child's tolerance for specific procedures or therapies.
• Expectations for the course of the disease.
• Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include (alone or in combination):
• Corrective Surgeries
o Surgery to divide webbed fingers
o Bone transfer (phalangeal transfer): One bone from each toe is removed and placed into each of the short fingers. This lengthens the fingers and makes gripping objects easier. Removing bones from the toes will not cause problems with walking.
o Distraction: A metal rod is placed in the transferred bones and slowly expanded to make the bones longer.
• Occupational therapy
• Physical therapy
o An artificial body part that can be used for cosmetic or functional purposes.
What is the long-term outlook for a child with symbrachydactyly?
Patients often have mild limitations in daily activities. Prognosis greatly depends on:
• The extent of the disease.
• The response to therapy.
• Age and overall health of the child.
• Your child's tolerance of specific procedures or therapies.
• New developments in treatment.