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Webbed Toes and How They’re Treated

Having webbed toes is a congenital condition where two or more toes are fused. Treatment options are available to correct this condition. A podiatrist can diagnose you with this condition and establish a treatment plan. Here are a few things you need to know about webbed toes:

Understanding Webbed Toes

Webbed toes affect people of all ages. This defect can happen during fetal development when the skin between two or more toes fails to separate. This non-separation causes webbing or an entanglement of toes, affecting a person’s walk and balance.

Clinically, the webbing of the toes is referred to as “syndactyly” to denote the fusion of digits. In most cases, webbed toes do not compromise an individual’s health. An early diagnosis is required when the condition leads to difficulty moving, walking, or physical limitations.

Diagnosing Webbed Toes

Webbed toes can be easy to diagnose through physical exams. During the physical exam, your doctor can note how many toes are affected, how much fusion has occurred, and whether the condition affects movement. Your doctor could require additional tests to determine your best treatment option. After the physical examination, your doctor may recommend genetic testing, X-rays, and MRI tests to evaluate the foot’s general structure. These tests help to determine the best treatment option to fix the problem.

Treatment Options for Webbed Toes

Treatment options depend on the patient’s age, the severity of the webbing, and how the person with the condition prefers to proceed. One treatment option is splinting or taping for babies and young children. Taping or splints is an appropriate treatment plan as the child grows and the webbing retracts.

Your podiatrist can perform corrective surgery if the webbed toes cause difficulty in walking and other physical challenges. Surgery involves separating the toes and possibly grafting skin to cover the operated area. The surgery can be done fairly quickly, usually involving general anesthesia.

Preparing for Webbed Toe Surgery

Before the surgery, you may receive instructions from the doctor on things to avoid and prepare for before undergoing the surgery. Your surgeon may advise you to stop smoking and avoid aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications. The doctor can also discuss the recovery process, the expectation of healing time, and possible limitations. It helps to have a support system, as the procedure can limit your mobility for the first few days after the surgery.

Surgery and the Recovery Process

Your surgeon can perform the procedure under sedation or general anesthesia in an outpatient setting. The surgeon makes an incision between the fused toes to release the webbing. Your podiatrist will use stitches to close the incision site and apply a bandage.

Your doctor can prescribe pain medication after the surgery to manage the pain. It helps to keep the incision site clean and dry. You can change the bandage regularly and elevate your foot to reduce swelling. Your podiatrist may advise you to avoid strenuous activity for several weeks after the surgery. The surgeon can schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor the healing process.

Preventive Measures

You can not prevent yourself from having webbed toes, but it helps to inspect the feet regularly for any changes. Wearing comfortable shoes helps to reduce putting unhealthy pressure on your toes. Maintaining a healthy weight can also reduce the risk of foot problems.

Read Also: Types of Back Injuries and How a Chiropractor Can Help

Find a Dependable Podiatrist for Treatment

The most effective option for webbed toe treatment is surgical intervention, which involves separating the toes. It helps to follow postoperative care instructions for effective healing. You may need a supportive team before and after the surgery to help you achieve a quick recovery. Find a reputable podiatrist who can help you with any issues relating to webbed toes.

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