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Syndactyly (Webbed Toes)

Syndactyly (Webbed Toes)

Some individuals are self-conscious and go to great lengths to hide their webbed toes.

Syndactyly (Webbed Toes)

What is Syndactyly (webbed toes)?

Webbed Toes, also known as syndactyly, is when two or more toes are joined with skin. It is one of the most common birth abnormalities that happens to one in every 2000-3000 baby. Research showed that it is slightly more common in male and Caucasian babies.

The most common form of webbed toes (syndactyly) is skin, but in rare cases, two or three toes may be joined with bones, nerves, blood vessels or muscles.

Some individuals are self-conscious and go to great lengths to hide their webbed toes.

Webbed toes (syndactyly) may not cause any functional difficulties if they are joined with skin only. Some patients may experience difficulty wearing certain shoes or may cause emotional and psychological distress.


The exact causes of webbed toes (syndactyly) are unknown. It is not something mothers did or did not do during pregnancy.

Birth abnormalities: It happens when toes do not separate or do not complete separation during fetal development (between sixth and eighth fetal growth).

Genetics: In some cases, if other family members have this condition.

Other conditions or syndromes: Disorders such as down syndrome, Apert syndrome or Pfeiffer syndrome may be related to webbed toes (syndactyly).


In most cases it is possible to correct webbed toes surgically.

Surgical treatment

Webbed toe surgery (de-syndactylisation) can be done as a day surgery procedure.

A full thickness skin graft is obtained from the redundant part of the ankle to cover the defect following separation of the toes. This procedure saves operation time, cost of surgery and minimal scarring in donor and graft sites.

Before & After Photos

Webtoe Surgery (Syndactyly) using Skin Graft 2

Before & After Photos

Webtoe Surgery (Syndactyly) using Skin Graft

Appointment Information

Cost & Item Codes – Our fees are quoted on a case-by-case basis after your initial consultation with the surgeon as each patient presents differently and each surgery varies from patient to patient. Please book an initial consultation to discuss this further.

Scans – We recommend you have weight bearing x-rays prior to your appointment.

Telehealth – We may be able to offer an initial telehealth appointment if you live a distance away. Phone one of our friendly staff to see if this is possible for you. We may ask you to email some photos of your toes prior to your appointment.

Surgery Information

Do I need surgery? – Although your surgeon has recommended an operation, it is your decision if you go ahead or not.

Duration – Surgery usually takes approximately 60 minutes.

Anaesthesia – Surgery can be performed under general anaesthesia or sedation, depending on the surgeon’s and the patient’s preferences.

Medications – Your surgeon will discuss all medications with you on your initial consultation.

Smoking – If you are a smoker, you need to stop the habit of smoking 4 weeks before your operation for normal healing and reduce postoperative complications.

Recovery Process

Patients must follow their surgeon’s instructions carefully during recovery to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.

The following should be adhered to in order to hasten your recovery from foot surgery.

In general, the following timeline can be expected:

Immediately after surgery: Go home and rest. Elevate your foot as often and as much as possible to reduce swelling. Take pain medication as instructed and avoid smoking. Wear post-operative shoe all the time, even at bed for the first 2 weeks. Place a plastic bag over your foot when showering.

The first few days: Although you are allowed to walk on your foot after surgery (in a post-operative shoe) it is best to completely rest your foot and elevation is encouraged in the first 1 – 2 weeks following surgery. You should restrict your walking to minimal activities such as going to the bathroom only.

1-4 weeks: In the first 2 weeks, keep the foot dry until stitches are removed. Weight bearing in post-op shoe only in the first 4 weeks, then you may be able to return to wearing comfortable shoes with a strong midsole such as runners after 4-8 weeks.

Driving – Your surgeon will advise when you can start driving, usually 2-4 weeks after surgery.

Return to Worksedentary – If you work at a desk with minimal time on your feet and you are able to elevate your foot/feet, you may be able to return to work between 3-5 weeks.

Return to Work active – If you have a physical job or are standing a lot and unable to elevate your foot/feet, you may not be able to return to work until 6-8 weeks.

Low impact exercise – return to normal daily activities and gentle low impact exercise 4-6 weeks.

High impact exercise – should be avoided for 8-10 weeks.

Patients should contact their surgeon if –

You experience severe pain that is not relieved by rest, elevation, pain medication and/or applying an ice pack to the operated part.

Bandages become saturated with blood.

The colour of your toes appear abnormal.

You bump and injure your foot.

Full recovery usually takes 8-10 weeks.

No surgical or invasive procedure comes without risks and complications. The main complications are – Infection, Scarring, and Skin Necrosis.


When to consider surgery?

Surgery is indicated when non-surgical treatment fails.

Dr Kim offers de-syndactylisation surgery using a skin graft from your ankle.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Podiatric Surgeon Dr Kim is the leading surgeon for Foot Surgery in Brisbane and Gold Coast, contact him today to see if you are a good candidate for surgery

No referral needed

Contact Us

A GP referral is welcome however it is not essential for your appointment


Dr Ji Soo Kim (Specialist Podiatric Surgeon) BPodM, DClinPod, FFPM RCPS(Glasg)

Book Appointment

Dr Kim has two offices, one located in Kelvin Grove, Brisbane. The other is in Southport, Gold Coast.

Please call 1300 522 096

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