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Digital Transfer for Hand Reconstruction in Cleft Hand and Foot Differences
Background Digital transfer for hand reconstruction in children with cleft hand and foot differences present unique challenges with anomalous anatomy and rare opportunities to dramatically improve function of one- or two-digit hands.
Methods Medical records were reviewed for patients with cleft hand and foot treated at two pediatric institutions between 1996 and 2018. Hospital records, clinical photographs, radiographs, and alginate molds were available on all patients. Patient characteristics, indications for transfer, associated syndromes, donor and recipient anatomy, and complications were examined.
Results Twenty digital transfers were identified in 16 patients. The mean age at time of transfer was 6 years (range: 3–18 years). Associated syndromes in this study included ectrodactyly ectodermal dysplasia clefting (EEC) syndrome and Goltz's syndrome. Recipient sites included the thumb (n = 17) and index ray (n = 3) in 10 hands with monodactyly, 6 hands with a two-digit ulnar syndactyly, and 3 hands with central deficiency and associated polydactyly or other anomalies. Donor sites included the great toe (n = 7), fifth toe (n = 9), great toe polydactyly (n = 2), thumb polydactyly (n = 1), and second toe (n = 1). All transfers survived. Revisions included tenolysis (n = 2), repeat fixation for nonunion or malunion (n = 2), and fusion for instability (n = 3).
Conclusion Digital transfer in cleft hand and foot patients is a functional endeavor. The transferred digits provide sensation, mobility, and stability for opposition. Technically challenging due to small structures and atypical anatomy, these rare cases represent unique opportunities to improve function and appearance in the pediatric hand. This is a therapeutic study and reflects level of evidence IV.
Received: 15 June 2020
Accepted: 21 December 2020
17 February 2021 (online)
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