Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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Hand Surgery


Our surgeons treat a wide variety of congenital hand deformities (abnornalities present at birth), as well as hand injuries. Some of the more common conditions include:


A deformity where two or more fingers are fused together; also known as webbed fingers.

Constriction Ring Syndrome

Also known as amniotic band syndrome, this is a disorder that occurs when fibrous bands of the amniotic sac (the lining inside the uterus that contains the fetus) become tangled around the limbs, fingers, or toes of the developing fetus. Sometimes this results in nothing more than an indentation extending around a finger or limb. However, deeper bands can cause severe swelling, cut off blood flow, and interfere with development.


Sometimes referred to as duplication, this is a defect where a child is born with more than the normal number of fingers or toes.

Hypoplastic or Absent Thumb

Thumb hypoplasia refers to a thumb that is underdeveloped. Thumb hypoplasia can take several forms:

  • The thumb is smaller than normal, but all of the bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints are normal.
  • The thumb is small and there are often minor abnormalities in the tendons and muscles within the thumb.
  • The bones of the thumb are abnormally small or there are abnormalities in many of the thumb's muscles along with problems in the joints of the thumb.
  • The thumb is attached to the hand by only skin and soft tissue and has no bony support.
  • Sometimes the thumb may be absent altogether, which is called aplasia.

Vascular Anomalies of the Upper Extremities

Vascular anomalies are abnormal clusters of blood or lymph vessels that occur during fetal development. They are present at birth and usually grow larger as the child grows.

Nerve Injuries

Nerves serve as the "wires" of the body that carry information to and from the brain. Nerves are fragile and can be damaged by pressure, stretching, or cutting. Pressure or stretching injuries can cause the fibers carrying the information to break, preventing the nerve from working, without disrupting the insulating cover. When a nerve is cut, both the nerve and the insulation are broken. Injury to a nerve can stop signals from going to and from the brain, preventing muscles from working and causing loss of feeling in the area supplied by that nerve.

To fix a cut nerve, the insulation around both ends of the nerve is sewn together. This allows nerve fibers to grow down the empty tubes to the muscles and sensory receptors.

Paralytic Conditions

Paralysis is the complete loss of muscle function for one or more muscle groups. Examples include paraplegia (weakness or paralysis of both legs and the lower part of the body), quadriplegia (also known as tetraplegia, referring to weakness or paralysis of all four limbs), and hemiplegia (weakness or paralysis of one side of the body). Paralysis may develop as a result of diseases of the spinal cord, nerve roots, or peripheral nerves. It may also result from hereditary causes, spinal tumors, or injury.

Last Edited: July 11, 2016
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