Every foot is different. Some are long while others are short. Some have high arches but others are completely flat. In general, most feet look similar, as do the toes, but in some cases, a mutation can occur when a fetus is developing in the womb. This can lead to a foot that has a different look than the typical foot. Sometimes it is completely altered and the structure is deformed. Other times, only the toes are affected, causing a cosmetic deformity like webbed toes.

Webbed toes, also known as syndactyly, occur in about 1 out of every 2,000 to 2,500 live births. There are various severities of syndactylization. Sometimes toes are only partially webbed. Other times, they are completely webbed. The most common area on the toes to be affected by webbed feet are the second and third toes. Syndactyly is thought to be caused by a genetic defect. Some sort of DNA mutation in your family’s genetic history usually causes you to develop webbed toes.

Typically, this deformity is more of a cosmetic problem than a functional problem. It very rarely requires treatment due to lack of functionality or danger to the foot. It is also unlikely to require an x-ray to diagnose. A visual examination of the foot and toes is usually sufficient when making a diagnosis.

If parents feel strongly about their child’s webbed toes, they can opt for their child to have cosmetic corrective surgery. Most podiatrists recommend that parents wait until children are old enough to assist in making a conscious decision about the surgery before they have it done. This is because post-surgery care is very important. If the toes are not properly cared for, the syndactyly can come back due to a skin-flap slough. In order to avoid such a complication, it is easier to have an older child help in the after care of the surgery.

If you or your child suffers from webbed toes and want to consult with an experienced podiatrist, Dr. James C. Ricketti, and Dr. Stephen J. Skokan of James C. Ricketti, DPM, located in Hamilton Square, New Jersey, can help. Call 609-587-1674 or request an appointment online today. We will educate you and help you make an informed decision when it comes to you or your child’s webbed toes.

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