Non-vascularized toe phalanx transfer for correction of severe clinodactyly of the thumb in Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome

J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2020 Sep;45(7):715-721. doi: 10.1177/1753193420909784. Epub 2020 Mar 12.


In Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, patients may have a particularly severe clinodactyly of the thumb. We evaluated a new method for correction of these severe clinodactylies using non-vascularized toe phalanx transfer as a replacement for the abnormal delta phalanx. Results of the new technique are presented, together with those of an osteotomy technique. We retrospectively recorded the angle of the clinodactyly before and after surgery and at long-term follow-up of 11 osteotomies and five transfers in nine patients from 1990 to 2017. The pre-operative angle of clinodactyli was similar between the two groups with a mean of 59°. After surgery, the correction was equivalent (7° and 11°). At the last follow-up (7 and 18 years), the relapse of clinodactyly was 17° for osteotomies and 1° for phalanx transfers. We noticed growth of the transferred phalanx, resulting in an excellent thumb length. We conclude that non-vascularized toe transfer can be an effective correction of severe clinodactyly and may be more stable than osteotomy in the long-term.Level of evidence: IV.

Keywords: Rubinstein-Taybi; Toe phalanx transfer; clinodactyly; congenital; delta phalanx.

MeSH terms

  • Hand Deformities, Congenital* / diagnostic imaging
  • Hand Deformities, Congenital* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome*
  • Thumb / diagnostic imaging
  • Thumb / surgery
  • Toes