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Classification & external resources
Human foot with partial simple syndactyly.
ICD-10 Q70.
ICD-9 755.1
OMIM 185900 186100 186200 186300
DiseasesDB 29330
MedlinePlus 003289
eMedicine orthoped/563 
MeSH D013576

Syndactyly (from Greek συν- = "together" plus δακτυλος = "finger") is a condition where two or more digits are fused together. It occurs normally in some mammals, such as the siamang. It occurs as an unusual condition in humans.



Syndactyly can be simple or complex.

  • In simple syndactyly, adjacent fingers or toes are joined by soft tissue.
  • In complex syndactyly, the bones of adjacent digits are fused. The kangaroo exhibits complex syndactyly.

Simple syndactyly can be full or partial, and is present at birth (congenital). In early human fetal development, webbing (syndactyly) of the toes and fingers is normal. At about 16 weeks of gestation, apoptosis takes place and an enzyme dissolves the tissue between the fingers and toes, and the webbing disappears. In some fetuses, this process does not occur completely between all fingers or toes and some residual webbing remains. The exact cause is not known. In cases, this condition appears to be hereditary.

Prognosis and treatment

In the case of human feet, syndactyly does not affect the function of the foot or toes and does not interfere with walking or swimming or any other activities. Although webbing of the fingers usually does not affect the function of the hand, it can impair function of the fingers.

Surgery may be performed to separate webbed fingers or toes. As with any surgery, there are risks of complications. This procedure involves local anesthesia with a sedative and can be done just with a local without the sedative for adults if desired. In addition to the incision between the toes, sometimes it is necessary to remove some skin from elsewhere on the body to graft into the newly exposed space between the toes.

In the case of webbed toes, surgical separation is a purely cosmetic operation with no medical benefits.


The loci associated with syndactyly are as follows:[1]

  • type I - 2q34-q36[2]
  • type II - 2q31-q32
  • type III - 6q21-q23
  • type IV - 7q36
  • type V - 2q31-q32

See also


  1. ^ Sato D, Liang D, Wu L, et al (2007). "A syndactyly type IV locus maps to 7q36". J. Hum. Genet. 52 (6): 561–4. doi:10.1007/s10038-007-0150-5. PMID 17476456.
  2. ^ Bosse K, Betz RC, Lee YA, et al (2000). "Localization of a gene for syndactyly type 1 to chromosome 2q34-q36". Am. J. Hum. Genet. 67 (2): 492–7. PMID 10877983.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Syndactyly". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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