A patient recently asked me if her toes appeared normal or not. What she was referring to is the fact that her 2nd and 3rd digits on both feet were connected with no space in between the toes. I told her, she has that in common with the actor Ashton Kutcher! Syndactyly, or webbed toes as it is commonly called, is characterized by the fusion of two or more digits of the feet. Its occurrence is pretty unusual, occurring in about one in 2,000 to 2,500 live births. So although it is unusual, it is definitely seen. There are various levels of webbing, from partial to complete. Most commonly the second and third toes are webbed.
The exact cause of the condition is unknown. It is a purely cosmetic condition, and I assured her that webbed toes in humans do not in any way impair the ability to run, walk, or swim... in fact there is rumor that people with webbed toes are actually better swimmers! In fact no, it has no impact on a person's ability to swim either.
Although completely cosmetic, the condition can be corrected with surgery. Here at Prairie Path Foot and Ankle Clinic, we can assist you with all of the treatment options. As with any form of surgery, there are risks of complications. One benefit of this condition is that she is less likely to get athletes foot or other skin conditions that can affect her feet between the toes. So I assured her to embrace and celebrate her webbed toes. The condition is rare, but a great conversation starter to let someone know what she has in common with Ashton Kutcher.