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J Hand Surg Br. 2003 Apr;28(2):125-30.

Long-term results of syndactyly correction: full-thickness versus split-thickness skin grafts.

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Department of Plastic Surgery, University Hospital, Groningen, The Netherlands.


In order to compare the long-term results of full-thickness and split-thickness skin grafts after the correction of congenital syndactyly, 27 patients have been investigated after an average follow-up of 21 years. Post-operative functional and cosmetic results have been assessed by patient records, questionnaires and physical examination. The webs that had received split-thickness grafts showed more flexion and extension lags and the overall spreading of the operated fingers was significantly decreased compared to the control fingers. On the other hand, more re-operations because of web creep had to be performed after full-thickness grafts. Hyperpigmentation and hair growth in the grafts was found in most of the full-thickness grafts, while breakdown of the graft was found in some of the split-thickness grafts. Therefore, based on the results of this study, either full- or split-thickness skin grafts can be used when treating of congenital syndactyly.

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