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Repair of webbed fingers or toes
Alternative namesWeb finger repair; Web toe repair; Syndactyly repair
The repair of webbed fingers or toes is corrective or reconstructive surgery to repair syndactyly , which can affect toes, fingers, or both. The middle and ring fingers or the second and third toes are most often affected.
Simple syndactyly involves only the skin and other soft tissues. Complex syndactyly involves fused bones, nerves, blood vessels, and tendons. Generally, syndactyly repairs are done between the ages of 6 months and 2 years.
General anesthesia is used. Skin areas to be repaired are marked. The skin is cut, and small flaps at the sides of the fingers or toes and in the web are lifted up. These flaps are sewn into position, leaving absent areas of skin. These areas may be filled in with full-thickness skin grafts taken from the skin in the groin area, if necessary. The hand or foot is then immobilized with bulky dressings or a cast.
The complextiy of the surgery depends on whether the condition involves just skin, or whether other soft tissues and bones are involved.
IndicationsThis surgery is advised for syndactyly in which functional ability or cosmetic appearance is impaired.
RisksRisks for any anesthesia include the following:
Call your doctor if you notice the following:
Expectations after surgeryThe 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, depending on the complexity of the syndactyly .
Hospital stays of one to two days are common.
Sometimes the cast extends beyond the fingers or toes to protect the repaired area from injury. Small children who have undergone webbed finger repair may need a cast that extends above the flexed elbow.
Update Date: 1/15/2003Andrew L. Chen, M.D., M.S., Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT