Hand surgeon Reena Anjalie Bhatt, MD answers your questions about webbed fingers, also known as syndactyly.
What is syndactyly?
Syndactyly is a condition in which a child is born with two fused fingers or toes. This can occur in the hands or the feet or both. It can occur in one hand or foot, or all four. Syndactyly is the most common congenital malformation of the limbs.
Most commonly, the fused fingers or toes are joined by soft tissue, this is termed simple syndactyly. When adjacent finger bones are fused as well as the soft tissue, this is termed complex syndactyly. When fingers are fused all the way to the fingertips, this is termed complete, whereas fusion that occurs only partway across the webspace is termed incomplete. Syndactyly can occur as part of a syndrome. Complex syndactyly with bony fusion more commonly occurs with with a syndrome. Apert syndrome and Poland syndrome are two examples of syndromes with syndactyly association.
Syndactyly can occur sporadically or be inherited and occurs in 1 out of 2,000 births. In 15-40% of patients there is a family history.