Webbed Toes Explained - Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston

Webbed toes is a condition described as the fusing of two or more toes. Medically referred to as syndactyly, this condition can also be seen in the fingers. Webbed toes and fingers are normal during our early fetal stage. However, this disappear as the toes and finger are separated by enzymes that dissolve the tissue that connects the digits.

Webbed toes is commonly seen in the second and third toes.  But these are not only connected by soft tissue and skin. Complex webbed toes are toes connected by fused bones. And is some rare cases, there is also the presence of an extra toe or finger connected to a digit.

This foot condition may not interfere with our ability to walk or perform normal activities. It may not take a toll physically, but having webbed toes can leave people feeling embarrassed or suffering from low self-esteem. Visiting a podiatrist is the best option when planning to undergo web toe treatment. The doctors at Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston are podiatrists who specialize in helping people with web toes.

What Causes Webbed Toes

Some studies show a genetic connection in the development of web toes. But this is inconclusive since people with no previous history of relatives suffering from web toes also develop the condition. Since web toes happens during fetal development, factors that affect normal development during pregnancy is more likely. Factors such as smoking, underlying diseases or poor nutrition that have been traced to the development of deformities during pregnancy are the more likely culprits.

Treating Webbed Toes

Although web toes don’t interfere with normal feet functioning, it can elicit unusual looks which can lead to poor self-esteem. And the desire to appear “normal” is the main reason why people undergo treatment for web toes. 

Surgery is the only option available for treating web toes. This is usually done in children aged 6 months to 2 years. Anesthesia is introduced to desensitize the target area. The surgeon then marks the areas where the toes will be separated. The surgeon then cuts the skin along these marks. Excess skin is then removed exposing the separated areas of the toes. 

A skin graft or taking skin from another part of the body is used to fill in the missing skin. Using the patient’s skin reduces the chances of the body rejecting the skin graft. The toes are then bandaged or a cast is placed to allow the wounds to heal properly.   

At Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston with six offices located in North Houston, TX, we specialize in helping people with web toes and other foot disorders To schedule an appointment, call 281-444-4114.