How Can Toe Deformity Affect One’s Health?

Toe Deformity
Close up human foot on white illustration

Toe deformities have always been a common problem in individuals around the world. Toes are the digits of the foot, a toe consists of three types of phalanx bones, namely proximal, middle, and distal. Feet are the most used part of one’s body as individuals need to constantly use them to get around from one place to another. So it is quite natural that any deformity in the toe will obviously affect the overall physical health of an individual.

Toe deformities not only disrupt the alignment of bones and tissues present in the foot but also severely affects the alignment of hip joints or knee joints. This is a big reason why it is very important for individuals to go through a proper toes deformity treatment which will help them in living a better life by solving their issues.


What are the different types of toe deformity?

Toe deformities are broadly classified into different sections, some of the most common forms of toe deformities are hammertoes, claw toes, and mallet toes. These three deformities have all very distinctive characteristics. Let’s discuss the characteristics of these deformities in detail.

  • Hammer toe – A hammer toe is a condition where over time the toe joints contract and bends due to an imbalance in the ligaments or imbalances around the toe or in the toe’s tendons. Moreover, poorly fitted footwear is the biggest cause behind hammer toes, so many doctors around the world forbid their patients from wearing tightly fitted shoes or high heels. They also suggest their patients stay away from narrow or pointed box-type shoes that can cause a lot of pressure on the toes ultimately squeezing them together. Toe deformities can also be hereditary or an effect of diabetes and arthritis. Podologue pédiatre around the world strictly suggests the parents of their patients keep their kids away from wearing uncomfortable shoes. Kids are way too naive to understand the future consequences of wearing bad-quality shoes so it is the duty of their parents to guide them properly.
  • Claw toe – This toe deformity condition is caused due to nerve issues in the legs and spinal cord or it can also be an early sign of arthritis. Claw toes are not harmful and can be treated very easily but in some cases, they can be the primary signs of some serious underlying disease. One can easily identify a claw toe if one experiences that the last two joints of the toe bent like a claw and become inflexible. Claw toes can be hereditary but they can also be a result of wearing ill-fitted shoes, muscular imbalance, or just an early sign of neurological disease. A claw toe can be easily treated by a toes deformity treatment like modification of footwear, stretching exercises & taping of toes. But in some advanced cases, the patients might need surgery to cure their deformity.
  • Mallet toe – A mallet toe is a condition where an upward bent forms at the toe joint of an individual. This changes the look of the second toe and makes it look curled up instead of looking flat, but in some cases, it can also affect the third or fourth toes. This condition occurs due to an imbalance in muscles or in the ligaments that help in keeping the toe straight. Wearing bad-quality shoes or certain types of diseases can lead to this kind of condition. This is a big reason why podologue pédiatre recommends kids wear good quality from an early age so that they don’t have to deal with issues regarding toe deformity when they grow up.


Effective treatments for toe deformity

Toe deformity can be treated by conservative treatments as they can also work effectively in relieving pain and restoring one’s walking ability. Wearing orthopaedic shoes that have a large toe box area and comfortable cushioning fall under the head of conservative treatments and are very effective in treating deformity.

Other than that there are many surgical toes deformity treatment that works quite effectively in solving the issue. The surgical treatments are chosen based on the kind of deformity they are struggling from. The main objective of these treatments is to retain normal stability and restore toe alignment, it also focuses on returning the foot to its normal state.

In severe cases where the deformity is rigid then the surgeon might make an incision over the joint where there is a deformity. Through this these types of toes deformity treatment a surgeon aims at realigning the ligaments and removing the bone pieces by performing osteotomy. After the procedure is over, the skilled surgeon closes the incision with sutures and covers it with a sterile dressing.


Key takeaways

Toe deformity is a painful condition that affects the daily livelihood of individuals, most of them are flexible but if they are left untreated then they become very painful, and in that case, it can only be treated with necessary surgery. There are many toes deformity treatment that can effectively cure the most common form of toe deformities namely hammer toe, claw toe, and mallet toe.