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In the present study, a modification has been proposed of the Blauth and Gekeler classification, aimed at a more accurate definition of appropriate surgical treatment. An analysis was made of a series of 120 cases of symbrachydactyly (117 patients); however, surgery was only performed in 86 cases (51 toe transfers in 49 patients; mean age at surgery 12 months). Type I included the separation of short and sometimes stiff fingers; type II, the 'pseudo-cleft', could be subdivided into three groups. Type IIA included those hands with more than two long and frequently hypoplastic digits, regarding which a decision had to be made between removal of rudimentary fingers or their stabilization. In type IIB, hand function was good and surgery was rarely needed. Type III (monodactylous) could also be subdivided into two categories, i.e., normal thumb in type IIIA and hypoplasia in IIIB. Finally, in type IVA, toe transfer surgery was performed on condition that wrist mobility was sufficient to compensate for the insufficient mobility of the artificial thumb on the anterior aspect of the radius. In all cases, a weak but useful pincer movement was obtained, with poor cosmetic results. In the case of toe transfers, surgery was advocated before the age of one year; and although mobility was disappointing (35 degrees active motion), good growth and excellent discrimination (5 mm on average) was observed. Symbrachydactyly is a fairly frequent congenital malformation; its diverse clinical features require a precise classification to better determine adequate treatment management.


G Foucher, J Medina, G Pajardi, R Navarro. Classification and treatment of symbrachydactyly. A series of 117 cases]. Chirurgie de la main. 2000 Jul;19(3):161-8

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PMID: 10989760

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