What do the actor’s Ashton Kutchar and Dan Aykroyd, along with singer Rachel Steven’s have in common? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not their love for show business. They actually all have a webbed toe(s)! Surprisingly this condition, known as Syndactyly is relatively common and has been reported to occur in 1 in 2500-3000 births. It has a greater tendency to be seen in Caucasians ten times more often than African Americans, and affects males just as often as females.
Syndactyly isn’t a cookie cutter deformity and can differ in appearance with varying elements of severity. For some individuals, they can have multiple sets of toes that are webbed, or there are others who may only have webbing between two toes. Webbing may extend only partially or completely to the end of the digits. Also, bony deformities of the toes may be present, resulting in additional clinical symptoms. All of these different aspects affect how a podiatrist may treat syndactyly.
While to some this may seem like an opportunity for a bright future as an Olympic swimmer, others may not embrace their webbed toes with such affection. If you find yourself in this situation, fear not, Syndactyly is often surgically treated with great success. Many reasons may warrant surgical correction of syndactly, including cosmetic and aesthetic purposes, even biomechanical purposes for proper gait function. It is usually recommended that treatment should be initiated between the ages of 1-5, however surgery may be more successful after skeletal maturity has been reached.
If you or your child have syndactyly please don’t hesitate coming into the office. Whether surgery or more conservative treatment is indicated our foot and ankle specialists have the solution. Please consider making an appointment with Dr. Gary N. Friedlander or Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona.