Duck Feet

By Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center
September 21, 2017
Category: Toe Conditions
Tags: syndactyly   webbed toes  

Most living creatures on this planet have a set of feet, or something similar to feet. Some are more closely structured to those of a human and others are completely and utterly different. Even human feet have some similarities to other feet of different mammals. The human body is amazing, especially when it comes to its feet. Not only do they help us balance and get moving, but our feet help us swim, stand, and participate in workouts. Some human feet can look a little too similar to the feet of a duck. That is because some people are born with webbed toes.

Webbed toes are toes that have extra skin in between the crevices. This extra skin is connected to the sides of both toes and often fans out. This makes the webbed toes look like those of a duck’s feet. This condition is known medically as syndactyly. It occurs in 1 out of every 2,000-2,500 live births. There are various severities of syndactyly. Sometimes the toes are only partially webbed. Other times they are completely webbed. In most instances, the webbed toes occur in the middle toes of the foot.


Syndactyly is thought to be caused by genetics. Somewhere in your bloodline, someone carries a gene that has a mutation. That mutation is what causes the webbed toe look on some people.  If you are reading this and have webbed toes, you can thank you family for the nifty mutation the next time you see them.


Usually syndactyly is more of a cosmetic issue than a functional issue. Only on rare occasions does it require treatment. An x-ray is not usually necessary for this type of deformity. Some parents may choose to have the webbed toes treated. If the parents do decide to have their child undergo treatment, it is recommended that they wait until the child is at an age where they can properly care for their own feet after surgery. Syndactyly can come back if the site of the surgery is not properly cared for.

If you or your child have webbed toes and want them treated, call Mid-Michigan Foot & Ankle Center located in Saginaw and Bay City, Michigan today. Podiatrist Dr. Andrew H. Cohen can discuss the different treatment options available to you for your webbed toes. Call 989-790-8009 or make an appointment online today. You will not be disappointed in your care.