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Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Symbrachydactyly

What is Symbrachydactyly?

Symbrachydactyly is the underdevelopment of the hand. This results in the undevelopment of the bones of the wrist and hand. The fingers are very underdeveloped and the hand looks like U-shaped because the thumb and little finger are usually longer and more developed than the other fingers.

How common is this?

One in 40,000 children are born with symbrachydactyly. It usually occurs in only one arm.

Why does this occur?

Most cases are thought not to be inherited.

Associated Syndrome?

One of the conditions associated with symbrachydactyly is Poland’s syndrome. Children with Poland’s syndrome have only one arm that is affected.

Poland's syndrome may be characterized by four features:

  • Short fingers
  • Webbing of fingers
  • Underdevelopment of the whole hand and the forearm
  • Absence of some of the chest muscles (Pectoralis Major)
  • One in 32,000 children are born with Poland syndrome and it is thought not to be inherited.

What are the treatment options?

Most children with symbrachydactyly have excellent function in daily activities. Due to the length of their arm, they do not qualify for most artificial limbs. However, some adaptive prosthetics and equipment for sports and leisure activities may be helpful when the child is older. Children who demonstrate some functional movement in their remaining fingers and within the palm are evaluated for possible surgery. (?Toe transfers?) The Plastic Surgeon and Occupational Therapist will discuss with you the best recommendations for your child.