Anatomical Differences Between Foot and Hand Web Space Reconstruction

J Foot Ankle Surg. 2020 Jan-Feb;59(1):31-37. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2019.07.005. Epub 2019 Nov 20.


The differences in the anatomy of the foot and the hand may affect the dorsal flap design for web space reconstruction. In this study, the authors aimed to identify the differences in web space anatomy of the foot and the hand and provide a guideline of flap design for web space reconstruction in the foot and the hand. The right hands and right feet of adult volunteers were measured, including surgical landmarks (i.e., the dorsal prominence of proximal interphalangeal and metacarpophalangeal joints [or metatarsophalangeal joints]), proximal phalangeal length, tip of the web space, and width of web space. The web spaces and other parameters were analyzed and compared between the foot and the hand by using a paired t test with p < .05 to indicate statistical significance. A total of 108 web spaces of the foot and hand from 18 adult volunteers were analyzed. The parameters that were significantly different between the foot and the hand included (1) proximal phalangeal length (34.63 vs 60.16 mm), (2) average web height ratio (0.72 vs 0.51), (3) average web width ratio (0.69 vs 0.81), (4) mean slope angle (4.89° vs 19.26°), and (5) average abduction angle (25.33° vs 31.07°). In conclusion, the foot web space had a higher slope angle, less abduction angle, and shorter proximal phalangeal length. Therefore, the flap design for foot web space reconstruction requires a longer and narrower flap than the design for the hand. The recommended flap design length should be at least 72% of proximal phalangeal length for the foot versus 51% for the hand, and the width should be at least 69% of the distance between the tips of adjacent metatarsophalangeal joints for the foot versus 81% for the hand.

Keywords: anatomical; difference; foot; hand; web space.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fingers / anatomy & histology*
  • Fingers / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Reference Values
  • Syndactyly / surgery
  • Toes / anatomy & histology*
  • Toes / physiology*