Syndactyly release, also known as webbing release or syndactyly separation, is a surgical procedure performed to correct syndactyly, a condition where fingers or toes are fused together. This congenital anomaly can occur in varying degrees, from partial fusion to complete fusion of adjacent digits.

What is Syndactyly Release?

Syndactyly release is a surgery to separate fingers or toes that are fused together from birth. During the procedure, the surgeon carefully cuts through the skin and tissues that are connecting the digits, allowing them to move independently. This surgery aims to improve the function and appearance of the hand or foot affected by syndactyly, helping individuals to use their fingers or toes more effectively and enhancing their overall mobility and dexterity.

Pre-operative Assessment

Before undergoing syndactyly release surgery, patients undergo a comprehensive pre-operative assessment. This assessment includes a detailed medical history review, physical examination, and imaging studies such as X-rays to evaluate the extent of fusion and assess bone alignment. Additionally, the surgeon discusses treatment goals, potential risks, and expected outcomes with the patient and their family.

Surgical Techniques

Syndactyly release surgery involves separating the fused digits to create individual fingers. The surgical approach varies depending on the extent of fusion and the specific anatomy of the affected digits. Common techniques include

Simple Syndactyly Release: In cases where the fusion involves only soft tissues, a simple release technique may be sufficient. The surgeon carefully dissects the skin and divides the soft tissue between the fused digits, ensuring adequate separation while preserving blood supply.

Complex Syndactyly Release: When the fusion extends into the bone or involves complex anatomical structures, a more intricate surgical approach is required. This may involve osteotomy (bone cutting) to separate fused bones, tendon transfers to improve finger function, or skin grafting to cover exposed areas.

Post-operative Care

Following syndactyly release surgery, patients require diligent post-operative care to promote healing and prevent complications. This includes

  • Wound Care: Patients are instructed to keep the surgical site clean and dry, and to regularly change dressings as directed by the surgeon.
  • Hand Therapy: Hand therapy is essential for optimizing hand function and preventing stiffness. Patients undergo customized rehabilitation programs focusing on exercises to improve range of motion, strength, and coordination
  • Monitoring: Regular follow-up appointments allow the surgeon to monitor healing progress, address any concerns, and adjust treatment as needed.


Infection:Like any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection at the surgical site, which may necessitate antibiotic treatment and delay healing.

Bleeding:Although rare, excessive bleeding during or after surgery can occur, requiring medical intervention to control and prevent complications.

Nerve or Vascular Damage: There is a small risk of damaging nerves or blood vessels during surgery, which can lead to temporary or permanent sensory or circulation issues in the affected area.

Stiffness or Reduced Mobility: In some cases, syndactyly release surgery may result in stiffness or reduced mobility of the affected digits, requiring ongoing therapy and rehabilitation to optimize function.

Recurrence: In rare instances, syndactyly may recur following surgery, necessitating additional interventions to address the fusion.


Syndactyly release surgery can significantly enhance hand or foot function by allowing the separated digits to move independently, enabling individuals to perform daily activities with greater ease and dexterity.

Enhanced Aesthetics: By separating fused fingers or toes, syndactyly release surgery improves the appearance of the hand or foot, leading to improved self-esteem and confidence for the individual.

Early Intervention: Addressing syndactyly early in life through surgical release allows for better adaptation and development of motor skills, potentially minimizing long-term functional limitations.

Customized Treatment: Syndactyly release surgery is tailored to each patient's unique anatomy and extent of fusion, ensuring optimal outcomes and minimizing complications.

Long-Term Outcomes

With proper surgical intervention and comprehensive care at Dr. YV Rao Clinics, patients can expect improved hand function and cosmetically pleasing results following syndactyly release surgery. Long-term follow-up is important to monitor healing progress, address any concerns, and ensure optimal outcomes for every patient.

Syndactyly release surgery at Dr. YV Rao Clinics offers patients a customized treatment approach to address the challenges associated with fused digits. With the expertise of Dr. YV Rao and the dedicated surgical team, patients can achieve improved hand function and enhanced aesthetics, ultimately enhancing their quality of life.

Are there different types of syndactyly?

Yes, syndactyly can be classified based on the extent and level of fusion. Types include simple syndactyly (only soft tissue is fused), complex syndactyly (involving bone fusion), complete syndactyly (fusion extends to the fingertips), and incomplete syndactyly (partial fusion).

Can syndactyly be corrected?

Yes, syndactyly can often be corrected through surgical intervention. The goal of surgery is to separate the fused digits and reconstruct the soft tissues to improve function and appearance. Surgery is usually performed during infancy or early childhood.

Can syndactyly recur after surgery?

Recurrence of syndactyly after surgery is rare but can occur, particularly if the initial surgery was not performed correctly or if scar tissue formation leads to re-fusion of the digits. Follow-up care and monitoring are essential to address any potential complications.

Is syndactyly hereditary?

Syndactyly can be inherited in some cases, although it can also occur sporadically without a family history. The inheritance pattern may vary depending on the specific genetic factors involved.

Will my child have normal function after syndactyly surgery?

In most cases, syndactyly surgery results in improved hand function and appearance. However, the outcome depends on various factors, including the type and severity of syndactyly, surgical technique, and individual healing response.