Complete means his fingers are connected all the way to the tips. If they weren’t it’d be incomplete syndactyly.
Complex means his bones are connected. If only soft tissue was connected it’d be simple syndactyly.
Type 3 is where the ring and pinky fingers are connected.
Here is a diagram of all the types of syndactyly:
I never make blog post titles that are google-able, or that are purposefully to encourage those googling a certain phrase to find my post. This time I did on purpose because when I was pregnant with Everett and found out he had syndactyly I went home and googled and googled and googled some more. And there is SO little information!! So, so little! There are websites with some facts and details and that is helpful but once I got the jist of what syndactyly is and what’s done about it I wanted real life help and information. I wanted a mother with a baby who had syndactyly to tell me all about it.
“Luckily” I have a friend whose son had syndactyly type 1 (the most common type) and she was a wealth of information.
Unfortunately there was literally zero real life information out there on syndactyly type 3 (Everett’s type) because it’s more rare. I wanted to connect with a mother whose child had this type since the surgery and after care all happen when the baby is so much younger. With type 1 (this is where the middle finger and ring finger are fused) doctors wait until 18 months or older to do the surgery. In Everett’s type they can’t wait that long because his ring finger bone will start to have a curve to it as it will be held down by the small pinky finger. In type 1 with the middle and ring fingers this doesn’t happen since those two fingers are similar in length.
As I get closer to the appointment with Everett’s new orthopedic surgeon I find myself getting more and more worried. I am the type of parent who completely freaks out with medical stuff. I hate when my kids get shots for heaven’s sake!
I have not only the huge fear of surgery on my baby but major worry and dread about the after care. After surgery Everett will be in casts for a couple weeks. When the casts come off I will have to change his bandages daily. I will have to soak his hands in water (mixed with something, I think) for 15 minutes and then re-bandage it all. This will last 4-6 weeks. Longer if there are complications.
He will have a wound on his inner thigh from where they take skin for a skin graft. Maybe on both thighs. Or maybe on the butt or some other place where he has enough skin to spare.
He’ll be in a lot of pain and I’ll have to give him pain medications. I don’t know for how long, it depends on the baby.
This all freaks me out. I crave someone to relate to on this. I know there are so many things that are worse and riskier and all that. But right now all I can think about is what I’m dealing with and how I wish I had someone to talk to about it. Someone who had their child have surgery and a huge recovery at the age Everett is. Someone who had to do weeks of bandage changes and had to give their child pain medications… someone with a baby who had syndactyly type 3. haha!
And since I don’t have that I figured I’d make a post with as many keywords as I can so that maybe in the future if a mom finds out her baby has this and wants information and support, I can be that for her.
Anyway, because pictures are always more fun than words 😉 Here are some of my Everett’s hands. I have found myself wanting to photograph them more, especially now that he grabs at things and holds things… to document these hands of his as they are right now since they will be totally different in a couple months!
One little fact about complete syndactyly is that it is really hard to cut his nails! The nails connect so getting the nail clippers to go under the nails is difficult! And I don’t want to cut too low where the nails meet so I can’t cut them as short as I would his other nails.
This shows the tops of his fingers better.
For those of you who couldn’t care less about Everett’s hands, I’m sorry because there will be many more posts coming up about his hands! haha. But you know, he’ll have surgery and he’ll heal and then those posts will fade away 🙂
And if you just found my blog after google searching and you have a baby with syndactyly and want more information or to connect (I’m way more active on facebook than my blog and we can be facebook friends) email me at: email@example.com. Put something about syndactyly in the subject and I’ll respond as quickly as possible! 🙂