Child born with rare disorder given use of hand

Constriction Band Syndrome affects 1 out every 1,200 kids

Constriction Band Syndrome is a rare condition that can be deforming and debilitating and is believed to happen when the amnion ruptures and bands are left floating in the uterus. 

Those bands become entangled around limbs, causing webbing of feet or hands, a cleft lip, or even amputation of limbs.

It's can be difficult to detect before birth because the strands are tiny and hard to see on ultrasound.

Brunshae Ford-Garnett, 7, was born with Constriction Band Syndrome.

"I found out when the doctors brought him to me, and I said, ‘What's wrong with my son's hand?'" his mother, Shauntrail Ford, said.

Brunshae's left hand was fused together, like a permanent fist. It only happens in about one in every 1,200 births.

It isn't genetic or environmental, and there's nothing Brunshae's mother could have done to prevent it.

"A band got caught around the end of his fingers, and fused all of his fingers and his thumb together. Until he was six years old, he had no way to even open his hand," orthopedic hand surgeon Dr. Stace Rust said.

Shauntrail said it was difficult for Brunshae growing up without the use of his left hand. He wanted to play basketball like the other children, but without the ability to pass the ball or dribble with his left hand, he could only watch other kids play.

"I had been to several specialists, but they all told me I had to wait before any surgeries could be performed. But then I met Dr. Rust and she told me, ‘I can fix that,'" Shauntrail said.

Rust saw the potential to give him the use of his left hand.  

"I released the soft tissues, made sure all the nerves, tendons and ligaments went to each finger, and put them in the correct place, so he could open his fingers and open his thumb, and have plenty of room to grasp objects," Rust explained.

It took three surgeries over the course of more than a year, but today, Brunshae has the use of both hands. 

"He tries to buckle his pants, tie his shoes, hula-hoops, jumps rope, he can do everything," Shauntrail said.

While there's no way to prevent Constriction Band Syndrome, surgeons like Rust are making big advances in ways to correct some of the damage done.

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