Your foot contains many bones, and obtaining a toe deformity is not difficult. Toe deformities can make walking and wearing shoes painful. They can also be unsightly. Here is more information about different toe deformities, their symptoms, causes, and how a podiatrist can help.
Common Toe Deformities
Toe deformities are not unusual. They can come in a variety of forms. Here is a list of the most common types of toe deformities.
A bunion is a large bump near the base of the large toe. It happens when your metatarsal bone shifts inwards. You can also get a Tailor's bunion which occurs with the small toe.
Hammertoe is when the toes develop a permanent bend. It most likely affects the smaller toes, especially the second or third ones. It is similar to a mallet toe in appearance. However, hammertoe usually affects the distal joint, and mallet toe affects the proximal joint.
Claw toes are similar to hammertoe and mallet toes in that it affects the second or third toe. However, claw toes affect both the proximal and distal joints. Claw toes often look rounded like a claw.
Signs You Have a Toe Deformity
For many people, deformities appear gradually. You could notice subtle signs of a problem long before you see something. For example, your toe will start to rub against the top of the shoe. Or you may find your shoes don't fit right. You might not feel much pain in the beginning.
Causes of Toe Deformities
Some toe deformities, like claw toes, can have a neurological or muscular cause. You may have issues with the tendons and muscles around the toes. However, footwear is one of the top causes of toe and foot deformities and problems. When you wear shoes that are too small or too tight in the toe box, you compress your toes. Tight shoes are especially hard on your smaller toes.
Treatments for Toe Deformities
Fortunately, many deformities are treatable as long as you don't wait too long. Early treatments include toe exercises, taping, and splinting. With bunions and hammertoes, you could use correctors and pads to provide relief. Proper footwear can keep the problem from worsening. However, you may need surgery if you have severe pain and can't get relief.
While some toe deformities only cause minor issues, others can develop into something serious. Therefore, if you notice any abnormality in your toes, see a podiatrist. They can examine your feet and possibly provide a solution. See them early before your problem can get worse. Give a local podiatrist a call if you have questions.
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