Why do some newborn children have fused fingers on their legs? What does this pathology mean and can we get rid of it? The answers to these and other questions regarding the aforementioned deviation you will learn from the materials in this article.
General information on pathology
Fused fingers on the legs - this is a congenital malformation of the lower extremities. This deviation is characterized by incomplete or complete fusion of two or more fingers. In medical practice, fused fingers on the legs have a special name - syndactyly.
With such a pathology, a person can see a fusion of both deformed and underdeveloped fingers, and properly developed. The consequence of syndactyly is the functional and cosmetic defect of the lower limb.
A kid with such a deviation should necessarily be consulted by a geneticist and orthopedic surgeon. To establish the form of syndactyly, a radiograph of the foot should be performed. Treatment of this defect is carried out only in an operative way. At the same time, two fused fingers on the leg are divided, and if necessary, plastic closure of the defect is also used.
Syndactyly is called abnormal finger development, which is the result of a violation of their correct separation. As a rule, this occurs in the embryonic period.
Fused toes on the legs of a newborn child occur with a frequency of 1 to 3000. It should be noted that syndactyly is about half of all congenital anomalies. Such pathology of the foot can be both an independent deviation, and be combined with other defects (for example, finger hypoplasia, polydactyly and polyphalangeia, ectrodactyly, brachydactyly, brachial synostosis, splitting of the hand, ulnar or radial armor, etc.).
Approximately 60% of children who have fused fingers on their legs (photo of a blemish presented in this article) have concomitant congenital abnormalities in the locomotor system (for example, pseudoarthrosis, clubfoot, abnormal feet, etc.).
Causes of Defect
Why do children develop such a defect as fused toes? The reasons for the appearance of this deviation may be different. Experts believe that in 20% of cases this is due to a hereditary factor. In other words, the whole fault is an autosomal dominant type of inheritance.
If there is no syndactyly in the family history, then it should be assumed that violations of differentiation and formation of the lower extremities of the fetus occurred during embryogenesis. Usually this happens if there are various adverse factors.
How does the defect develop?
Why on the legs are fused fingers, and how to explain this development of the limbs? The laying of the feet of the unborn child takes place on the 5th week of intrauterine growth. It is at this time that the fetus can develop physiological syndactyly.
In the absence of a defect, fingers are already formed at the 7th week. This is due to the growth of the finger rays and the slow development of interdigital spaces. If the reduction of the interdigital partitions is disturbed, the phalanges do not separate, that is, there is syndactyly.
Possible causes of pathological development
Fused fingers on the legs of a child can be observed with toxic effects on the body of a pregnant woman. In most cases, this occurs during the intake of medicines, alcoholic beverages, as well as in unfavorable ecology, occupation, x-ray and infectious diseases (eg, influenza, syphilis, tuberculosis, etc.).
Often the reasons for the birth of a baby with syndactyly remain unexplained.
Fused fingers on the legs - this is often an observed defect, which is part of the structure of chromosomal and gene syndromes.
By the way, very rarely people have acquired syndactyly. As a rule, such a pathology occurs after burns of the foot (chemical or thermal).
Fused fingers on the legs - what does this pathology mean?
Many people who are actively involved in mysticism believe that such a pathology develops for a reason. There is an opinion that this kind of mutation is diabolical. And indeed, the fused fingers are pretty much like a hoof.
However, doctors say that there is nothing strange and terrible in this development of the foot. This is just an anomaly of the limb, which is quite easy to get rid of, especially in the early stages of a child's life.
So do not worry if you have fused toes. What this means, you can only tell the doctor, not lovers of diabolical marks.
Classification of a defect
In orthopedics, syndactyly is classified according to the extent, type of adhesion, and also the condition of the fingers.
- Bone form (if there is bone adhesion);
- Soft tissue form (sometimes membranous and dermal).
Classification of the defect in terms of length depends on the number of fused phalanges and the length of the fusion.
With regard to the condition of fused fingers, then syndactyly can be complex and simple. In the latter case, the fusion of the normal fingers occurs, and in the first case, the anomalies of the bone, articular, tendon or ligamentous apparatus occur.
Syndactyly is classified according to genetic types:
- The first type is zigodactylia. Partial or complete fusion (webbed) of the 2nd and 3rd toes. Also, webbing between other fingers is not excluded.
- The second type is synpolodactyly. Combination of the 4th and 5th fingers of the foot with a doubling of the 5th. For such pathology are characteristic: violations of the reliefs of the skin of the soles and hypoplasia of the middle phalanges.
- The third type. Two-sided full syndactyly of the 4th and 5th fingers of the hand. In this case, the feet are not affected.
- The fourth type is the syndactyly of Gaza. Complete bilateral skin dermatology of the hand. In this case, the defeat of the feet is absent.
- The fifth type. Merging metatarsus and metacarpal bones. On the hands more often there is fusion of 3-4 fingers, and on the feet - 2 and 3.
With syndactyly on the feet of a child, the fusion of the 2nd and 3rd fingers is most often observed. In this case, unseparated phalanges can either be underdeveloped, or developed normally. In some cases there is a decrease in the number of fingers due to their amniotic amputation.
Unlike children with syndactyly on their hands, children with syndactyly develop on their feet quite normally. They have no problems with the implementation of a wide range of activities. At the same time, the functional inferiority of the foot does not make learning difficult, and practically never limits the choice of the future profession.
How is it diagnosed?
How is it diagnosed by the fused fingers on the legs (a sign of what such a vice was described above)? Syndactyly is detected by a neonatologist immediately after the birth of the baby. Further observation of the child is carried out by a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. To exclude chromosomal and gene anomalies, a geneticist can be connected.
Despite the fact that such a diagnosis is established after a visual inspection to clarify the type of blemish, as well as the development of therapeutic tactics, an instrumental study should be conducted.
Radiography of the feet in two projections allows specialists to assess the density of bone tissue, the condition of the joints, the extent and presence of bone fusion. To identify the features of the circulation and vascular network in the fingers do UZDG, rheovasography, angiography and electrothermometry.
Treatment of pathology
Is it possible to cure fused fingers on the legs? The operation to separate phalanges is the only possible solution. However, it should be noted that surgical intervention is used only with the syndactyly of the fingers. As for the fused stop phalanx, in this case the operation is not shown. If such a pathology prevents normal walking, then the intervention is still carried out.
When does the operation take place?
The timing and mode of surgical intervention are determined taking into account the nature and form of the defect. The goal of such treatment is to eliminate cosmetic defect, as well as improve the function of the foot or hand.
The optimal period for the operation is 4-5 years. If the newborn baby has terminal syndactyly, the intervention is carried out in the second half of his life. This helps prevent secondary deformation of the fingers and uneven growth of phalanges.
During surgery, the following surgical approaches can be used:
- Separation of fused fingers with plastic skin of local tissues;
- Division of webbed adhesion without skin plastic;
- Separation of fused fingers, which is supplemented by combined skin plasty with the use of free autografts and local tissues;
- Separation of fused fingers, which is supplemented by free skin dermis with a full-layered or split skin flap;
- Multi-stage interventions with tendon-muscle, skin and bone plastics.
After surgical intervention, a removable gypsum longite is placed on the limb to immobilize the divided fingers. It is recommended to wear it for at least 3-4 months.
Approximately 15 days after the operation, the patient is being restored. To do this, use a massage of the hands or feet, exercise therapy, ultraphonophoresis with lidase, electrostimulation of the muscles of the fingers, ozocerite, paraffin and mud applications.
Used in modern surgery, the methods of treating syndactyly give good cosmetic and functional results. With timely intervention, not only the normal structure, but also the functions of the hand and foot are fully restored.
The operation to eliminate syndactyly was successful if the patient does not have constrictive scars and lateral deformation of the fingers, and also the total volume of movements in interphalangeal joints (reduction, extension, extension and flexion) is observed, grasping function (in the case of a brush), good sensitivity and natural form Gaps between the fingers.
If the treatment of syndactyly is not decided, then this can have a negative impact on the development and growth of the baby's limb.