Sometimes things go wrong. It’s not anyone’s fault, and many times we never find out why it happens, but we still need to cope with the problem. No one knows exactly what causes amniotic band syndrome, but it doesn’t appear to be connected to genetics or the actions of the mother. For some reason, the part of the placenta called the amnion is damaged and produces fibrous bands. These bands can become entangled with the fetus, often wrapping around its limbs, and because the blood supply is constricted, the extremities do not develop normally. The condition is diagnosed at birth when a physical examination reveals the abnormalities.

Every baby is different, and the type and extent of the defects varies widely depending on which part of the body is entangled. When the amniotic bands wrap around the foot or toes, some of the toes may grow fused together instead of separately, or the growth of the foot or toes can be stunted. Some toes can be shorter than normal, or not develop normal bones or nails. Clubfoot, a condition where the feet are not the usual size and are turned in an abnormal position, is associated with amniotic band syndrome.

The good news is that the condition itself is not usually painful. If it is diagnosed before birth, there are even some in-utero treatments available. After birth, surgery can be performed to straighten the feet or separate toes that are fused. In severe cases, amputation is sometimes necessary, but there are excellent prostheses available that enable normal movement and activities.

Dr. Peyman Elison and Dr. Viedra Elison are experienced surgeons. They can diagnose and recommend treatment for many conditions, including birth defects of the feet. Contact them at Fixing Feet Institute in Surprise, AZ for answers to your questions, or to set up an appointment. The phone number is 623-584-5556, or you can book an appointment online.

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Dr. Peyman A. Elison
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Founder and Managing Partner of Fixing Feet Institute
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