Webbing of the fingers or toes

Definition

Webbing of the fingers or toes is called syndactyly. It refers to the connection of 2 or more fingers or toes. Most of the time, the areas are connected only by skin. In rare cases, the bones may fuse together.

Considerations

Syndactyly is often found during a child's health exam. In its most common form, webbing occurs between the 2nd and 3rd toes. This form is often inherited and is not unusual. Syndactyly can also occur along with other birth defects involving the skull, face, and bones.

The web connections most often go up to the first joint of the finger or toe. However, they can run the length of the finger or toe.

"Polysyndactyly" describes both webbing and the presence of an extra number of fingers or toes.

Causes

More common causes include:

Very rare causes include:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

This condition is normally discovered at birth while the baby is in the hospital.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask about the child's medical history. Questions may include:

An infant with webbing may have other symptoms that together may be signs of 1 syndrome or condition. That condition is diagnosed based on a family history, medical history, and physical exam.

The following tests may be done:

Surgery may be done to separate the fingers or toes.


Review Date: 10/18/2017
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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