What is Syndactyly
Syndactyly is a congenital condition where two or more fingers don’t separate into individual appendages. The fingers are often fused together with the webbing of the hand. It commonly affects the middle and ring fingers and the thumb and pointer finger. The webbing can either completely join two fingers together or it can connect parts of the two fingers.
There are multiple classifications of syndactyly. These include:
Complete Syndactyly: The joining involves the complete fingers (all the way to the tip)
Partial Syndactyly: The joining involves only part of the fingers
Cutaneous (aka Simple) Syndactyly: The fingers are connected only with skin
Complex Syndactyly: The fingers are connected via bones and joints
Complicated Syndactyly: The joining of fingers that correlate with a syndrome or other health issue
Syndactyly is most often caused by delayed or abnormal development of the arms, fingers and skin during gestation. Another, less common cause of Syndactyly is scaring and trauma due to the unborn baby as a result Amniotic (or Constriction Band) Syndrome.
Some babies with Syndactyly may also have Symbrachydactyly, a form of Syndactyly where the fingers are unusually short, and sometimes barely visible, and webbed.
Corrective surgery is the only way to treat Syndactyly. The timing of the surgery will be dependent on which fingers are involved. In most cases, surgery can begin as early as six months of age and can go through 18 months of age.
A skin graft is commonly used in Syndactyly correction surgery.
At the Cleft & Craniofacial Institute of Utah, we strive to give each patient the best quality of life as possible. Our medical professionals will diagnose and recommend individualized treatment for each Syndactyly case.
Syndactyly isn’t known to contribute to any serious health conditions that threaten one’s life. However, patients with Syndactyly can have trouble in gripping items which can impact their ability to write and they experience psychological and self-esteem issues because their fingers look different.
Having joined fingers or short or webbed fingers can make everyday tasks like gripping difficult and having fingers that look differently can cause stress and self-esteem issues.
Contact the Cleft & Craniofacial Institute of Utah to schedule a consultation to learn more about your child’s Syndactyly surgical treatment options.