Our hands are a critical part of our development as human beings. They allow us to assimilate the world around us and move about our daily lives. They hold a psychological relevance when we interact with others and transmit sensations to enrich our experience. It is no wonder that the impact on a child’s life can be profound when hands are altered by heredity or trauma.
Roughly 2 in 1000 infants are born with a hand deformity. These can be as common as an extra finger (polydactyly) or as rare as complete absence of the limb (amelia). The spectrum of deformities is extensive. Occasionally, other associated conditions may be present, constituting a syndrome. They can be genetically passed along or can occur in the womb as a mechanical disruption. But in most cases, the cause is unknown. Some of the conditions that Dr. Panossian treats can be found below.
- Syndactyly (Webbed Fingers/Toes)
- Polydactyly (Extra Fingers/Toes)
- Trigger Finger
- Constriction Ring Syndrome (Amniotic Band Syndrome)
- Hypoplastic Thumb
- Radial Club Hand
Hands are intricate structures with numerous tiny ligaments and tendons acting in coordinated fashion to deliver both fine motor function and powerful grasp. These give us the ability to play the violin or hang from monkey bars. It is important to understand that a child’s hand is dramatically different from that of an adult. Surgery, when inappropriately timed or executed poorly, can disrupt hand growth and overall hand function.
Dr. Panossian’s expertise in pediatric hand surgery along with his vast experience allow him to tackle some of the most complex hand issues encountered. Hand differences don’t occur only in childhood and will continue following patients well into their adult lives. Therefore, it is not uncommon for Dr. Panossian to continue following his patients for several decades. In addition, what makes him different from other hand surgeons is his ability to bring in expertise from other areas, such as microsurgery, to treat complex problems. He frequently lectures on pediatric hand surgery and travels internationally to perform complex reconstructions on children.
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