Navigate Up
Unable to display this Web Part. To troubleshoot the problem, open this Web page in a Microsoft SharePoint Foundation-compatible HTML editor such as Microsoft SharePoint Designer. If the problem persists, contact your Web server administrator.


Correlation ID:d5b926a4-978f-47cd-9d57-574f65c35ca8

Print This Page

Webbing of the fingers or toes

Webbing of the fingers and toes is called syndactyly. It refers to the connection of two or more fingers or toes. Most of the time, the areas are connected only by skin. In rare cases, the bones may fused together.

Alternative Names

Syndactyly; Polysyndactyly

Considerations

Syndactyly is often found during a child’s health exam. In its most common form, webbing occurs between the second and third toes. This form is often inherited and is not unusual. Syndactyly can also occur along with other birth defects involving the skull, face, and bones.

The web connections most often go up to the first joint of the finger or toe. However, they can run the length of the digit.

"Polysyndactyly" describes both webbing and the presence of an extra number of fingers or toes.

Causes

More common causes include:

  • Down syndrome
  • Hereditary syndactyly

Very rare causes include:

  • Apert syndrome
  • Carpenter syndrome
  • Cornelia de Lange syndrome
  • Pfeiffer syndrome
  • Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome
  • Use of the medication hydantoin during pregnancy (fetal hydantoin effect)

When to Contact a Medical Professional

This condition is normally discovered at birth while the baby is in the hospital.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about the child's medical history. Questions may include:

  • Which fingers (toes) are involved?
  • Have any other family members had this problem?
  • What other symptoms or abnormalities are also present?

An infant with webbing may have other symptoms that together may be signs of one syndrome or condition. That condition is diagnosed based on a family history, medical history, and physical exam.

The following tests may be done:

  • Chromosome studies
  • Lab tests to check for certain proteins (enzymes) and metabolic problems
  • X-rays

Surgery may be done to separate the fingers or toes.

References

Carrigan RB. The upper limb. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 673.

Updated: 12/4/2013

Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com