What is it?

Amniotic Band Syndrome is a rare condition happening when fibrous bands of the amniotic sac get tangled around the fetus. This condition may lead to different problems, depending on which body parts are wrapped. The severity of amniotic band syndrome can range from a single, isolated finding to multiple, disfiguring complications. It is sought that amniotic band syndrome occurs when the amnion, or the inner membrane, ruptures. Then, the fetus gets exposed to the floating tissue from the ruptured membrane. This rupture is not a result of any maternal activity or a genetic defect and it happens randomly. If left untreated, it could cause limb deformities and defects of the head, face or spine. The incidence of amniotic band syndrome is 1 in 1200-15,000 live birth.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Deformity due to amniotic band

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms, or more exactly- complications of amniotic band syndrome vary from one fetus to another and may include- finger amputations, syndactyly (fused or webbed fingers), cleft lip or palate, clubbed foot, amputation of limb and even death.


Diagnosis of amniotic band syndrome is usually done soon after birth, based upon physical examination findings. Sometimes, this condition is diagnosed during pregnancy in an ultrasound exam.


Most complications are handled after the birth with reconstruction surgeries. In rare, severe cases, fetal surgeries are considered. For example, when the band is around a limb and causing swelling and obstructing blood flow to the limb. The fetal surgeons can enter the uterus with a small instrument and attempt to cut the band around the limb. Physical and occupational therapy may also be necessary to ensure infants can attain the optimal use of affected fingers, toes, arms and legs.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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