Syndactyly Release And Infections- An Update

Many of you may be aware that our son Jimmy has a condition called Syndactyly. His middle and ring fingers on both hands are fused to the tip, with his nail beds joining as one. The condition isn’t are rare as you may think… 1 in 2000 people are affected! A surprising number really.

Jimmy’s hands.

When Jimmy was 8 weeks old we met our surgeon at Bedford hospital. He reassured us that once Jimmy was 1 year old he would have X-rays to check the bones and have the first of his operations to separate his fingers. Off we went, happy to await Jimmy’s 1st birthday.

Unfortunately, not long after that appointment, Jimmy started getting infections within the tip of his fingers where the 2 nails join. Cutting his nails became an issue as the nails grew straight downwards. We booked in to see our local GP who prescribed a cream, which unfortunately made zero difference to the infections. Yesterday afternoon Jimmy woke from his nap and I noticed that his infected hand had been bleeding. I cleaned the wound and that was that… I wasn’t too worried as it had happened before. An hour later, the nails started to bleed again, quite badly. 🙁

I called the Plastic Surgery department where Jimmy’s surgeon is based at Bedford hospital. They told me that an emergency appointment would be made for the next day (today). So today, we made our way off to the hospital and saw Jimmy’s surgeon. A lovely man, who is very calm and knowledgeable. He explained that while the odd infection isn’t uncommon, the bleeding isn’t good at all. His surgery would be flagged as urgent and rather than starting the process when he is 1, we would start the process now and Jimmy shall be added to the operating waiting list.

Due to the waiting list, we are looking at October time when Jimmy shall have his first operation to release one of his hands. The 1st hand will be his left hand, which is the infected hand. In October Jimmy will be 13 months old… much younger than the predicted 18-24 months that he would have been, without any complications.

Jimmy has Syndactyly, but that doesn’t stop him from playing with toys!

Jimmy will need Xrays done first to check what the bones look like. If the bones are both separate and it’s just the skin that is fused he can have his operation at Bedford hospital. If the bones are fused (which is likely) then the operation will have to be completed at Great Ormond Street hospital in London.

So, that’s our little update. Hopefully, I will have nothing more to write about Syndactyly until we start the process of the release. Hopefully, the infections stay minimal and far apart! Fingers crossed… *was that an intended pun?!* 🙂

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Author: Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 young daughters, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting brands.

One thought on “Syndactyly Release And Infections- An Update”

  1. Goodness, this must be a worry for you. I hope it’s just the skin that is fused and that his surgery will be straightforward. I know someone who was treated at Great Ormond Street as a baby and they were fantastic so I’m sure he’ll be in great hands no matter what happens.

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