Congenital amputation is a congenital disorder that can be caused by fibrous bands of the amnion that constrict foetal limbs to such an extent that they fall off due to missing blood supply. The child is born without one or more limbs or without parts of limbs (amelia).
Congenital amputations can result from a number of causes. One common cause is amniotic band syndrome, which occurs when the inner fetal membrane (amnion) ruptures without injury to the outer membrane (chorion). Fibrous bands from the ruptured amnion float in the amniotic fluid and can get entangled with the fetus, thus reducing blood supply to the developing limbs to such an extent that the limbs can become strangulated, the tissues die and are absorbed into the amniotic fluid. Amnion ruptures can be caused by:
- teratogenic drugs (e.g. thalidomide, which causes phocomelia), or environmental chemicals
- ionizing radiation (atomic weapons, radioiodine, radiation therapy)
- metabolic imbalance
The term "congenital amputation" is sometimes used loosely to mean "congenital absence".
- Gabos PG. (Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE 19899, USA) Modified technique for the surgical treatment of congenital constriction bands of the arms and legs of infants and children Orthopedics. 2006 May;29(5):401-4
- Walter JH Jr, Goss LR, Lazzara AT. (Department of Orthopedics, Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine, Philadelphia 19107, USA.) Amniotic band syndrome J Foot Ankle Surg. 1998 Jul-Aug;37(4):325-333
- Light TR, Ogden JA. (Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery, Loyola University School of Medicine, Maywood, Illinois 60153, USA) Congenital constriction band syndrome. Pathophysiology and treatment Yale J Biol Med. 1993 May-Jun;66(3):143-155
- Further literature available e.g. via PubMed, free medical literature database of the US health authority (search for: congenital amputation or amniotic band or congenital constriction bands or other synonyms) via http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed
- Kyle Maynard is an American motivational speaker and athlete. He is a former college award-winning wrestler and amateur mixed martial artist born with congenital amputation of the forearms and lower legs.
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