Keloid Formation after Syndactyly Reconstruction: Associated Conditions, Prevalence, and Preliminary Report of a Treatment Method

Arshad R. Muzaffar, Francisco Rafols, James Masson, Marybeth Ezaki, Peter R. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study is 3-fold: to review our cases of keloid formation after syndactyly release, to report a clinical association between primary enlargement of the digits and risk of keloid formation, and to report treatment using low-dose, short-term methotrexate as an adjunct to revision surgery. Methods: A retrospective review of patients identified with keloid formation after syndactyly reconstruction showed associated enlargement of the involved digits. A search of medical records for cases in which both syndactyly and digital enlargement occurred was carried out. Charts and images, where available, were reviewed for information about age, gender, involved site, associated conditions, and treatment. Results: Eight cases of keloids occurred in 1004 surgical procedures in 681 patients carried out during the 20-year period reviewed. Seven patients were white and 1 was Hispanic. Seven of the 8 had associated primary digital enlargement. Two patients who had enlarged syndactylized digits did not develop keloids after surgery. There was no family history in any case. Standard treatment (pressure, topical or intralesional corticosteroids, and re-excision) was unsuccessful in resolving the keloids. Two children treated with adjunctive methotrexate had successful treatment of their keloids and near-normal healing. Length of follow-up time after the last treatment ranged from 6 months to 11 years (average, 5.5 years). Conclusions: Primary digital enlargement is highly predictive of risk of keloid formation after syndactyly reconstruction. Very-low-dose, short-term methotrexate was successful as an adjunct to surgical treatment in 2 cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-208
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Keloid
  • Methotrexate
  • Syndactyly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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