Outcomes of Pediatric Syndactyly Repair Using Synthetic Dermal Substitute

Lindley B. Wall, Katherine Velicki, Summer Roberts, Charles A. Goldfarb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: Full-thickness skin grafts are classically used for areas of skin deficit in syndactyly reconstruction surgery. However, skin grafting requires additional time under anesthesia and includes donor site morbidity. Synthetic dermal substitute has produced favorable web creep and scar appearance outcomes in syndactyly reconstruction. We sought to validate these results using objective outcome measures. Methods: All patients who had undergone syndactyly reconstruction with synthetic dermal substitute with 1-year follow-up were identified. We included 23 webs in 16 patients; 2 were lost to follow-up. Median age at surgery was 27 months; 7 patients were female. Five webs were revision surgeries. Two patients had a diagnosis of amniotic constriction band, and 3 had symbrachydactyly. All webs were assessed from blinded clinical photos. Outcome measures included web creep assessment (range, 0–5) and Vancouver Scar Scale. Results: Of 21 webs, 2 had minimal creep and 16 had none; 3 had clinically relevant creep (grade 2). Vancouver Scar Scale scores for all webs averaged 1.19 (0 is normal). There was normal vascularity in 20 webs, pigmentation was normal in 17 webs, skin pliability was normal in 13 webs, and scar height was flat in 15 webs. On the visual analog scale assessment, surgeons rated the appearance of the 21 webs as an average of 8.8 (range, 5–10). There were no postoperative complications. Conclusions: Synthetic dermal substitute is an effective, efficient, and visually satisfactory option for coverage of skin deficits in syndactyly reconstruction. The current heterogeneous sample revealed that this approach can provide satisfactory outcomes for patients, families, and surgeons. Although no surgical complications were noted, the rate of integration and healing has yet to be determined. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic IV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773.e1-773.e6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Congenital
  • Hyalomatrix
  • dermal substitute
  • syndactyly


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