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Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Syndactyly

What is Syndactyly?

Syndactyly is a congenital hand condition where fingers or toes are webbed together

What are the Different Types of Syndactyly?

There are different words used to describe the types of syndactyly:

Complete - the web between fingers extends to the tips of the fingers

Incomplete - the web between fingers longer than normal, but does not extend all the way to tips.

Simple - the skin and underlying tissues are involved

Complex -the bones at the end of the fingers are joined together

Complicated - bones inside the hand are jumbled and abnormal

How Common is This?

  • Approximately 1 in every 2000 children
  • 50% of cases involve both hands
  • 41% of cases involve the middle finger and ring finger
  • 27% of cases involve the ring finger and little finger
  • 23% of cases involve the index finger and middle finger
  • 9% of cases involve the thumb and index finger

Why Does This Occur?

Before your child is born, the hand bud must separate into five fingers. Syndactyly is the failure of fingers to complete this normal process of separation during fetal development. Syndactyly may just be an isolated incidence or it may occur as part of a syndrome such as Apert's syndrome or Poland's syndrome

What are the Treatment Options?

X-rays are important in complete syndactyly to determine the position of the bones, this will help the surgeon determine whether the fingers can be separated surgically. Your surgeon will discuss the X-rays with you and decide whether surgery is possible. If deemed appropriate by the surgeon, surgical separation is performed at any time after the age of approximately 6 months.