Web finger repair; Web toe repair; Syndactyly repair
This procedure is done using general anesthesia. The patient is asleep and pain-free.
The health care provider will mark the areas of skin that need repair.
The surgeon cuts the skin, then lifts up small flaps in the web and at the sides of the fingers or toes. 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 bandage 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
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.
After the Procedure
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.
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.
Review Date: 07/28/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.