Treatment of congenital syndactyly

Hand Surgery and Rehabilitation
M Le HanneurF Fitoussi

Abstract

Defined as the union of two adjacent digits, syndactyly is one of the most common congenital deformities. The severity of the malformation depends on the fusion level, the tissues involved in the union, and whether it is isolated or syndromic. In order to improve the hand's appearance and function, surgery is recommended in the great majority of cases, ideally during early childhood (i.e., before entering school). Web space reconstruction is done using local flaps. Depending on the flap design, digital resurfacing can be done with or without skin grafts. While graftless techniques have shorter operating times and no morbidity associated with skin harvesting, their cosmetic outcomes seem to be worse than those of traditional grafting techniques, with more postoperative complications; furthermore, such techniques cannot be used in all cases, especially those with osteoarticular fusions. When the fingertip is involved, paronychial reconstruction is carried out with pulp flaps. The prognosis for these deformities directly depends on their severity, with excellent outcomes in cases of cutaneous fusion, and much less predictable ones when osteoarticular and/or tendinous tissues are involved.

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