Try not to stare | What causes webbed toes in humans?
Karen Gill, MD, Medical News Today – Syndactyly (sin-DAK-til-ly), a condition that causes webbed or fused toes or fingers, is one of the most common types of birth abnormality.
Researchers do not understand precisely why webbed digits develop, but, in some cases, there is a definite genetic cause.
Usually, surgeons will correct webbed digits when children are quite young to prevent complications.
Most corrective surgeries are successful and give the child full function of their digits on a hand or foot that appears normal.
What are the causes?
Syndactyly refers to toes or fingers not separating during fetal development.
It is one of the most common birth abnormalities, affecting an estimated 1 in every 2,000–3,000 children born each year.
Syndactyly can also occur when the skin or another body structure does not heal properly after a significant injury, such as a burn.
It often presents as webbing, so people often refer to the condition as webbed toes or fingers.
The majority of cases of webbed toes occur when the skin fails to separate during fetal development.
However, more severe cases of syndactyly may also involve other parts of the body, including:
- blood vessels
Syndactyly may appear as a symptom of another syndrome or medical condition, but most cases are non-syndromic, meaning that they have no apparent cause.
Currently, there are 300 different syndromes linked to syndactyly, most of which are genetic conditions. The most common ones include:
- Down syndrome
- Apert syndrome
- Crouzon syndrome
According to the available research, boys are more likely to develop syndactyly than girls. And Caucasian children seem to be more likely to develop webbed digits than children from other ethnic backgrounds.
Although it can affect any of the toes or the spaces between them, syndactyly most frequently develops between the second and third toes. See the full story at Medical News Today.