If you or someone in your family has webbed toes, it is only natural to wonder if it is an inherited trait. Also known as syndactyly, webbed toes is a condition that happens when the skin on or more of the toes end up being fused.
In some of the more rare cases, a child’s toes can be joined together by one or several of the following:
- Blood vessels
This condition impacts one out of every 2,500 to 3,000 babies, and it is present at birth. Studies have shown that it happens more often in male and Caucasian babies, and it usually occurs between the middle and ring fingers rather than the toes.
However, this is a condition that can interfere with the regular function of the hand or foot if the webbing is anything more than minimal. In some instances, this condition can be corrected with surgical intervention.
Historically, roughly 10 – 40% of the webbed fingers and toes cases reported stem from an inherited trait. This is something that can also be part of some sort of underlying condition, including Apert syndrome, Holt-Oram syndrome, or Poland’s syndrome.
Experts tend to agree that a child should be a few months old before having surgery to repair webbed toes. It is also essential that you have a trusted surgeon who is familiar with this type of procedure and has an excellent success rate. You should also make a note of the healing time that is involved and to make sure that it will not impact any of the developmental milestones that your child will be going through, including taking first steps.
This procedure helps to separate the fused toes that your child has so that they will have better balance and their digits can move easily and independently. The overall goal of this procedure is to restore the full functionality of the foot. Depending on the level of webbing, there may be more surgeries required to help cut down on the risks.
Once your child heals fully from their syndactyly procedure, he or she will more than likely have normal toe function. The foot will also start to improve in appearance over time and grow normally after the surgery. While there may be a chance for more surgeries to achieve the best result, working with the right team of professionals and under the guidance of a trusted podiatrist will always help.