Crooked Toes, Deformed Toes, Call Them What You Want
Are you dealing with crooked toes? Do you have toes that are abnormally shaped, facing sideways or sticking up into your shoes? It’s not as uncommon as you think! Toe deformities come in many different shapes and sizes, and are dealt with by people from all walks of life.
Hammer toes and claw toes are the two most common types of toe deformities. These are terms used to describe positional misalignments of the smaller four toes, such as being bent out of position. Toe deformities can occur for a number of reasons, and there is plenty your podiatrist can do to assess if any action is needed!
Types of Toe Deformities
While there are a number of toe deformities that may cause issues, hammer toes and claw toes are the most common deformities of the smaller toes.
- Hammer toe: Bends at the middle toe joint, often causing the toe to stick up like a hammer
- Claw toe: Bends at the joint nearest the toenail, often causing the toe to ‘claw’ downwards
Causes of Crooked Toes
Given the individualised nature of our feet, there are many potential causes of hammer toes and claw toes. One of the primary reasons is due to a shortening and tightening of the muscles and tendons in the foot that attach to the toes. This might occur from the following:
- Wearing shoes that are too small or too narrow for your feet
- Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
- A family history of hammer and claw toes
- Bunions: as a big toe deformity may cause misalignment of the smaller toes
- High arched feet
- Trauma and fractured bones
- Neurological conditions
Symptoms of Toe DeformitiesSymptoms of hammer and claw toes will defer for everyone, which may include:
- Hard skin forming corns and calluses on your toes
- Redness and inflammation of the toes
- Difficulty fitting your toes inside your shoes comfortably
- Toe pain
- Stiff rigid toes
Treatments for Crooked Toes
It is essential to undergo a proper assessment and diagnosis of your toe deformities to evaluate what treatment is necessary. Here are some ways your podiatrist may help you manage hammer and claw toes:
- Having properly fitted shoes will be of utmost importance for preventing the deformity from worsening. At The Movement Centre we can help you find the right pair of shoes for your needs
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Strapping and taping strategies
- Padding worn in your shoes
- Reducing hard skin that has developed from toes being bent out of position
If surgery is required, our podiatrists can help answer your questions and assess if surgery is the best option for you. We have a close referral network to some of the best orthopedic & podiatric surgeons in the Eastern Suburbs.
If you are struggling with hammer toes, claw toes or any other form of crooked toes, make sure to book an appointment at The Movement Centre today. Our expert podiatrists will be more than happy to assess your concerns and assure you’re back on your feet as soon as possible!