Next Step: Foot Care In Connecticut

Posts for tag: toes are bent funny

mallet toe occurs when the joint at the end of the toe will not straighten. This is different from a hammertoe

because in a hammertoe, any joint can be affected. Excessive rubbing of the deformity against the top of a shoe will lead to the development of a corn and pain. The tip of the toe is often turned down against the shoe, causing pressure and discomfort. Those with mallet toes are often embarrassed by this deformity because it can stick out like a sore thumb. When left untreated, the pigment of the skin on the mallet toe can become dark and circular.

Causes of mallet toes include:

  • If you are on your feet all day. 
  • Participate in sports regularly.
  • Have arthritis
  • Have nerve damage in your back, leg, or foot.
  • Have very high or very flat arches.
  • Wear shoes that don't fit
  • Were born with a toe deformity.

Other factors include poor circulation, diabetes, edema, and wearing non-leather shoes. Complications of the mallet toe can lead to puss, infection, and swelling, as well as a change in gait pattern because of pain.

Conservative treatments for mallet toes include:

  • Wearing shoes with a large, square toe box.
  • A toe crest or buttress pad.
  • Gel toe caps or shields.

If your mallet toe is causing significant pain or has progressed to an infection, call a podiatrist to make an appointment. Surgical treatments a podiatrist may try are:

  • Amputation of the tip of the toe (only if gangrene or severe infection is present).
  • Joint fusion of the toe.
  • Partial bone/joint removal.
  • Flexor tenotomy or lengthening.

If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.

Connecticut Foot Care Centers

Podiatrists in CT

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Toe deformities often get blamed on wearing shoes that are too tight or too small, which can be the case in

hammertoes and mallet toes. However, claw toes are the result of nerve damage from diabetes or alcoholism, which weakens the muscles in your foot. Claw toes claw at the soles of your shoes, creating painful calluses. Without treatment this deformity can become worse over time, even becoming a permanent problem.

Symptoms of claw toes include:

  • Toes that are bent upwards from the joint at the ball of the foot. 
  • Toes bend downward at the middle joints towards the sole of your shoe.
  • Toes may also bend at the top joint, curling under, like mallet toes.
  • Corns on the top of the foot or on the ball of the foot.

A podiatrist can effectively diagnose a claw toe, using tests to determine if the cause is neurological, or trauma or inflammation.

In the early stages of a claw toe deformity, the toe will be flexible. However, the longer the condition progresses, the more rigid it will become. If the deformity is caught at an early stage, simple taping or splinting may be prescribed to retrain the toe to the correct position. Your podiatrist may also recommend:

  • Wearing shoes with roomy toe boxes and avoiding tight shoes and high heels.
  • Use your hand to stretch the affected toe to the correct position. 
  • Exercise your toes by performing towel pick-ups or marble pick-ups with your feet.

Claw toes at an advanced stage will require other, more complex treatment:

  • A special pad to redistribute your weight and relieve pressure on the ball of your foot, like an orthotic.
  • Extra deep shoes with additional space in the toe box to accommodate the claw toe.
  • Have your shoes stretched.
  • Surgery to correct the deformity.

If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.

Connecticut Foot Care Centers

Podiatrists in CT

Visit our website, like our page on Facebook, and follow our tweets on Twitter.