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Syndactyly (Webbed fingers or toes)

Syndactyly is a condition in which a baby's fingers or toes do not fully separate during pregnancy. Two or more fingers or toes may present with connective "webbing" that prevents digits from functioning independently.

Causes of Syndactyly

Some forms of syndactyly are genetic, while others occur in children who do not have a family history of the condition. When a baby is developing in the womb, fingers and toes are initially fused together and usually separate during the first trimester. For children with syndactyly, the fingers and toes do not completely separate, often requiring medical intervention after birth.

Treatment of Syndactyly

Physicians with the Hand and Extremity Program are skilled in treating syndactyly. While a child with syndactyly should be assessed by the program soon after birth, surgeons may recommend waiting to perform the surgery until the child is 1 to 2 years of age or older, when hand growth is less rapid. During surgical repair, skin from another part of the child's body may be used to cover the emerging fingers once they are surgically separated. The child will be outfitted with a protective cast to protect the hand while it is healing.

The team at the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Hand and Extremity Program can help families in determining the best treatment options for their child.

Additional Resources

Pediatric Surgery
Dr. Chad Perlyn, plastic surgeon and co-director of the operating room, explains why the surgical procedures and environment at Miami Children's Hospital are so special.
For more information about the division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, or to schedule an appointment, please call 305-278-5951.

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