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Alternative Names Return to topWeb finger repair; Web toe repair; Syndactyly repair
Definition Return to top
Repair of webbed fingers or toes is surgery to fix webbing of the toes, fingers, or both. The middle and ring fingers or the second and third toes are most often affected.
Description Return to top
General anesthesia (the patient is asleep and pain-free) is used. Doctors mark the skin areas that need repair.
The skin is cut. Small flaps in the web, and at the sides of the fingers or toes, are lifted up. The flaps are sewn into position, leaving missing areas of skin. These areas may be filled in with skin taken from the groin area, if necessary. The hand or foot is then wrapped with a bulky dressing or cast so that it cannot move.
Simple webbing of fingers or toes involves only the skin and other soft tissues. The surgery is more complicated when it involves fused bones, nerves, blood vessels, and tendons.
Why the Procedure is Performed Return to top
This surgery is advised if the webbing causes problems with appearance, or in using the fingers or toes. Generally, the repairs are done when a child is between 6 months and 2 years old.
Risks Return to top
Risks for any anesthesia include the following:
Risks for any surgery include the following:
Call your doctor if you notice the following:
After the Procedure Return to top
The repair is usually successful. When joined fingers share a single fingernail, the creation of two normal-looking nails is rarely possible. One nail will look more normal than the other. Some children require a second surgery if the webbing is complicated.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Most people stay in the hospital for 1 - 2 days.
Sometimes the cast extends beyond the fingers or toes to protect the repaired area from injury. Small children who had webbed finger repair may need a cast that reaches above the elbow.Update Date: 7/17/2008 Updated by: Andrew L Chen, MD, MS, Orthopedist, The Alpine Clinic, Littleton, NH. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.