Do you have two or more toes that are joined? Congratulations, you have something in common with actor Ashton Kutcher! However, having webbed toes (also known as syndactyly) is an uncommon condition, affecting only about 1 in every 2000. Most commonly the second and the third toe are the ones fused, though other toes can be fused as well. Webbed toes rarely affect the the mobility of the person affected so surgical correction of the problem is also rare, but it is a simple procedure depending on what parts of the toes are fused.
Simple – the toes are joined by only soft tissue
Complex – the toes are joined by a fused bone
Complete – the entire length of toes are fused together
Incomplete – some of the toes are fused together, but not full length.
Surgery for separating the toes is usually purely cosmetic. Depending on the type of joining (Simple,Complex, Complete, Incomplete) the surgical procedure takes a few hours and a skin graft may be used to fill in the gap created by the surgery. The patient may require a short hospital stay, but it is unlikely.
We still do not fully understand what causes webbed toes. While some may have inherited it from family members it is not uncommon to share the trait with no relatives at all. It is also common to see webbed toes with patients who have certain medical syndromes, such as Down Syndrome.
Patients with webbed toes typically report no pain or lack of mobility from the condition. If you have webbed toes and they are causing pain or difficulty in walking then you should contact your local podiatrist. Ankle & Foot Associates has 18 locations in Georgia and South Carolina to better serve you.