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Help for the Future Right Now at Shriners Children's

The orthopedic specialists at Shriners Children’s are highly skilled in treating children diagnosed with amniotic band syndrome.

Also known as ABS, amniotic band syndrome occurs in one in every 10,000 to 15,000 babies born in the United States. It is a condition caused by damage to the sac that surrounds the baby while they are in the womb. With the damage to the sac, or amnion, fibrous bands or strings enter the amniotic fluid. Occasionally, these bands wrap around parts of the baby’s body and hinder growth and blood flow. In most cases, the bands wrap around fingers, arms, toes and legs. Rarely, ABS may involve the waist or head of the baby.

ABS is typically found during routine ultrasounds between six and eighteen weeks of pregnancy. Other tests may be needed to determine the extent of the issue for your baby.

The medical teams at Shriners Children’s may meet with you before your child is born to discuss a plan of care for your baby. Treatment may include surgery, occupational or physical therapy, or the use of a custom prosthesis.

Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.


Signs and symptoms of ABS can vary depending on when the damage to the amniotic sac occurs and which of the baby’s body parts the amniotic bands constrict.

  • An unsightly indentation around your child’s finger or limb
  • Interference of growth and development of the arms and legs
  • Webbed toes or fingers
  • Clubfoot
  • Cleft palate

Treatment at Shriners Children's

Our skilled physicians have treated thousands of babies and children with amniotic band syndrome. We are experienced addressing cases that range from routine to highly complex. We also offer the benefits of some of the most advanced clinical and scientific research in the world.

Your Shriners Children’s physicians will tailor a plan of care to your child’s specific needs. Our trusted surgeons can perform reconstructive surgeries to repair body parts damaged by constrictive bands. They will work together with you to plan your child’s treatment for any limb difference that will lead to their highest level of independence and activity.

When we came to Shriners Hospital, we knew we had found world-class care for our daughter.
Deanne, St. Louis
physician and female patient smiling

Specialty Orthopedic Care

We're home to a renowned team of board-certified pediatric orthopedic surgeons, specialists and support teams devoted to providing progressive orthopedic treatments. Anchored in research based on real evidence, our care for amniotic band syndrome is proven to provide lasting benefits to the quality of children's lives.

innovative treatments

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Orthopedic Surgery

With their expertise in treating children from toddlers to teens, the pediatric orthopedic surgeons at Shriners Children’s understand the challenges of planning ahead for growing bones and bodies.

Plastic Surgery

Shriners Children’s experienced pediatric plastic surgeons use reconstructive plastic surgery techniques to bring hope and healing to families dealing with differences involving the face, jaw, eyelids, ears, breasts or skin.

Reconstructive Surgery

Shriners Children’s provides innovative, personalized care for children with reconstructive needs.

Limb Lengthening

Shriners Children's experienced pediatric orthopedic surgeons are known throughout the country and the world for their skill in performing limb lengthening surgeries.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy at Shriners Children's helps children build confidence and strength, focusing on what is important to them and what they love to do in their daily lives.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists at Shriners Children's help kids be as independent as possible, focusing on what is important to them and what they love to do in their daily lives.

Next Steps

Request an Appointment

Families and caregivers seeking treatment should start by contacting us for an appointment.

Log in to the Patient Portal

Parents and guardians of existing patients can email, request records, schedule appointments and more.

Refer a Patient

Physicians and healthcare providers can request appointments, start transfers or contact us with questions.