As children grow, they interact with their environment mainly by using their hands. Any congenital finger or hand deformities can therefore pose strong challenges to their learning. The common forms of congenital hand deformities include thumb deformity, uneven or unequal fingers or absence of bones in the hand.
Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Bram Kaufman provides hand surgery to patients in Cleveland, Beachwood, Pepper Pike, Lyndhurst, OH, and surrounding communities.
Types of Hand Surgery
The type of hand surgery performed for congential deformities depends on how severe the problem is. A device called a fixator may be used to align and stabilize the bones of the hand and forearm. If the wrist is positioned at an abnormal angle, surgery may help release tissue tightness and restore the angle to a more normal position.
The following types of hand surgery are commonly performed by experienced surgeons:
Syndactyly is a condition in which two or more fingers are fused, giving the appearance of webbed fingers. Syndactyly release is the surgery for this condition, and it is performed only after the child completes one year of age. This is important to allow the anatomic structures of the hand to grow so that surgery is easier. Also, there is lesser risk of anesthesia-related complications at this age.
In this surgery, the hand surgeon divides the digits by creating zigzag incisions between them. The pointed skin flaps that are created by the incisions are then wrapped around each digit. This type of surgery does not allow the development of scars that may restrict movement of the digits.
Sometimes, after separation of the fingers, your hand surgeon may use a skin graft to cover the spaces in between.
Polydactyly is the condition in which an extra finger is present. This may be corrected once the child is one to two years of age. In radial polydactyly, the surgeon creates a single thumb from two split or duplicated thumbs by either removing the smaller one, or by reconstructing the joints, tendons, ligaments, soft tissues and the skin.
Ulnar polydactyly is the condition where an extra pinky finger is present. It is treated by surgically removing the extra finger or by suturing or clipping it to stop blood supply so that the extra digit withers and falls off.
Clubhand is the condition in which the radius is absent or the ulna is shorter than normal, or there is a problem with the muscle in the region. The final result is a limited range of wrist movement. Depending on the specific nature of the deformity, the surgeon may choose to lengthen the radius or modify the ulnar region or use an external fixation device.
Consulting a hand surgeon early on is important for children with hand defects. Even in case of deformities where surgery is not possible, the doctor can fit your child with prosthetic devices to improve hand function. Plastic surgeon Dr. Bram Kaufman receives patients from Cleveland, Beachwood, Pepper Pike, Lyndhurst, OH, and nearby areas for hand surgery.
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