Amniotic band syndrome is a congenital disorder caused by fetal limbs or digits getting caught in fibrous amniotic bands while in utero. Amniotic banding happens in every 1 in 1,200 live births and is likely responsible for 178 in 10,000 miscarriages. About 50% of cases also have other congenital deformities, including cleft lip, cleft palate, and clubfoot. It is considered an accidental occurrence and does not appear to be genetic or hereditary.
Constriction of appendages by amniotic bands may result in:
- Constriction rings around the digits, arms, and legs.
- Swelling of the extremities distal to the point of constriction.
- Amputation of digits, arms, and legs.
Many who have ABS will have clubfoot, which occurs in roughly 31.5% of cases. Disfigured feet in general are a common deformity in this disorder.
Some researchers believe that ABS is caused by early amniotic rupture, which leads to the formation of fibrous strands that entangle limbs and appendages. Treatment occurs after birth and involves plastic and reconstructive surgery, ranging from the simple to the complex. Prognosis depends on the location of the amniotic bands. Bands that are wrapped around fingers, toes, feet, or hands can result in syndactyly or amputations of the affected area.
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