What is symbrachydactyly?

Symbrachydactyly occurs when an arm or hand does not develop completely. Sometimes, one hand may be smaller than the other. Other children may have short, stiff, and webbed fingers, or some or all fingers may be missing. Symbrachydactyly happens as the fetus is developing in the mother’s womb. As the fetus develops, the hand is initially paddle-shaped, but it usually splits into separate fingers. In cases of symbrachydactyly, this process doesn’t happen correctly for one hand.

How is symbrachydactyly diagnosed?

Symbrachydactyly is usually diagnosed at birth or shortly after birth. A physical examination and x-rays can help confirm the diagnosis. Symbrachydactyly is often confused with amniotic band syndrome, so it’s important to consult a specialist in pediatric hand conditions.

How is symbrachydactyly treated?

Treatment is customized for each individual child and depends on the severity of the condition and how the child is currently using his or her fingers and hand. Some children don’t need surgery and do well with occupational therapy, while other children may benefit from surgery to add length to the affected fingers. Long-term follow-up is also important to ensure that the hand is continuing to work well for your child as he or she ages.