Treatment for Little Toes

by | Oct 13, 2017

For many new parents, holding their newborn and counting all their cute little fingers and toes is one of the first things they do with their little one. It can be a source of great wonder and joy! However, finding a congenital problem toes during this early period is not as a rare as you might think.

Potential newborn toe deformities include:

  • Curly toes. These are usually caused by short, tight tendons that pull the tips of toes (often the third, fourth, and/or fifth ones) downward.
  • The appearance of “extra” toes or fingers. These supernumerary digits are usually non-functional.
  • Syndactyly. One or more toes or fingers remain “webbed” or connected to one another. Usually the connection is all soft tissue, although sometimes bones may be shared or fused.
  • A combination of polydactyly and syndactyly—the presence of both extra toes or fingers and webbing between two or more digits.

When little toes don’t look quite the way they should, it’s important to seek out a professional evaluation, ideally from a specialist with experience treating these kinds of deformities. That’s what you’ll find at Southern California Foot & Ankle Specialists, where pediatric and congenital foot care is a core part of our practice.

Treatment for Newborn Toe Deformities: How and When?

Most newborn toe deformities are ultimately corrected surgically. (Non-surgical treatments are typically ineffective.) This may be done in order to improve the functioning of the child’s feet, or for cosmetic reasons.

However, the complexity and even timing of surgery can vary quite a bit depending on the diagnosis, the severity of the condition, and the overall development of the child. Furthermore, if the condition isn’t causing any discomfort or disability (as is often the case with, for example, webbed toes), parents may decide to put off treatment indefinitely. Later, if symptoms emerge—or the child or young adult decides they would like a more “normal” appearance—the corrective surgery can be performed then.

The end goal is for your little one to be happy, healthy, confident, and free from anything that would impair normal development. The good news is that we can help! These kinds newborn toe deformities almost never cause any long-term problems as long as they are evaluated and treated in a timely fashion. To schedule an appointment for you and your child, give us a call at (949) 364-9255.