INTRODUCTION: Syndactyly caused by burns to the hand is a severe and disabling sequel that limits hand function. In most cases, it results from poor scar orientation during the acute phase of the burn. This article describes the systematic technique adopted by our institution to treat this sequel, and establishes normal parameters to be investigated and surgical techniques.
METHODS: Between January 2009 and December 2012, 150 patients with syndactyly caused by burns to the hand underwent reconstructive surgery. The following 4 surgical steps were used to treat all patients: preparation of the dorsal flap; syndactyly release; migration and suturing of the flap to its new position; and skin graft to fill the remaining spaces.
RESULTS: There was graft survival in 100% of cases. Partial graft loss occurred 20 cases, and there were no cases of local infection. All patients recovered their hand function, including the ability to hold, and digital abduction.
CONCLUSIONS: Syndactyly after burns is extremely limiting to the patient. The use of basic techniques of flaps and grafts results in successful treatment, restoring hand function compromised by the injury.
Keywords: Burns/complications. Burns/rehabilitation. Hand. Syndactyly/surgery.