Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS) is an uncommon condition that affects approximately one in every 1,200 births. It is a congenital abnormality caused by fetal entrapment in fibrous amniotic bands while in the womb, which can result in a range of deformities, particularly in the feet. Often, ABS is due to early amniotic rupture, causing fibrous bands to constrict or entangle limbs and appendages. Though rare, ABS can be devastating, leading to disfigurement and even miscarriage.
If you’re concerned about your child’s condition, it’s essential to see a specialist like Dr Gilbert Huang DPM, who is an expert in identifying and treating foot problems and deformities. He can help you understand your specific diagnosis and create a personalized treatment plan depending on the extent of the condition.
Symptoms of Amniotic Band Syndrome
ABS can affect any part of the body, including limbs, digits, and other parts of the fetal anatomy. The severity and symptoms of ABS can vary significantly from mild to severe. For example, some children have a slightly shorter toe or a small gap between toes while others lose whole limbs like fingers, toes or have significant deformities such as clubbed feet.
Most newborns with ABS will have visible signs that reflect the severity of the condition. One sign of ABS is characteristic linear marks that run along the appendage affected or other parts of the body. Often these marks are white and are visible from birth. Additionally, a child with ABS may have webbed toes or fingers, have missing digits, or present various other deformities upon inspection.
Causes of Amniotic Band Syndrome
To date, researchers do not know precisely what causes ABS but believe that it is due to the early rupture of the amniotic sac. When the sac ruptures, fibrous strands can form that can become entangled around parts of the baby’s body. As the baby grows, these strands can constrict further, cutting off blood flow, affecting the fetal development of the entangled body part. Once it constricts around the affected body part, it can prevent blood flow, leading to tissue death or necrosis.
The severity of ABS will play a significant role in the type and course of treatment for each child. In some cases, treatment is not necessary, while more severe cases will require intervention. In cases of minor defects, sometimes a surgeon can correct the condition by surgically separating fingers or toes or using other non-surgical orthotics or support devices to help the child achieve greater mobility.
In some severe cases, a pediatric surgeon may need to remove the entire entangled limb after birth to save the child’s life from potentially fatal complications. Often, this type of decision is extensive, requiring close consultation with your child’s doctor.
Do you think your child may have ABS?
If you’re concerned that your child may have ABS, it’s important to see a specialist like Dr Gilbert Huang DPM as soon as possible. Whether you’re dealing with minor concerns or significant malformations, Dr Huang can provide quality care and personalized treatment to ensure the best possible outcome for your child. Don’t hesitate – contact us today.