Intoeing

The Major Toe Conditions Explained by a Specialist

Bunions

More than half the women in America have bunions, a common deformity often blamed on wearing tight, narrow shoes. Bunions cause the base of your big toe (Metatarsophalangeal Joint) to enlarge and protrude. The skin over it may be red and tender. This can be acquired through time or it can be congenital (you got it from your family)

Wearing any type of shoe may be painful. This joint flexes with every step you take. The bigger your bunion gets, the more it hurts to walk. Bursitis may set in. Your big toe may angle towards your second toe, or even move all the way under or over it. The skin on the bottom of your foot may become thicker and painful.

Pressure from your big toe may force your second toe out of alignment, sometimes causing it to overlap your third toe. If your bunion gets too severe, it may cause be difficulty in walking. Your pain may become chronic and you may develop arthritis.

Most bunions can be treated conservatively with wider & softer shoes, pads to relieve the pressure and/or medications. If this does not help then surgical treatment is indicated.

Bunion surgery, or bunionectomy, realigns the bone, ligaments, tendons and nerves so your big toe can be brought back to its correct position and the bump on the inside of the joint removed. Many bunion surgeries are performed on a same-day basis (no hospital stays) using a local anesthesia. During your recovery it is common to have pain and swelling. This swelling and stiffness may be persistent for several months.

Claw Toe

Claw toe normally is caused by nerve damage from diseases like diabetes or alcoholism, which can weaken tour foot muscles. Having claw toe means your toes "claw," digging down into the soles of your shoes and creating painful calluses. Claw toe gets worse without treatment and may become a permanent deformity over time.

Common symptoms include:

  • Toes bent upward (extension) from the joints at the ball of the foot.

  • Toes bent downward (flexion) at the middle joints toward the sole of your shoe.

  • Corns on the top of the toe or under the ball of the foot.

Claw toe deformities are easier to repair when detected early, but they harden into place over time. Splint or tape is used to hold your toes in correct position.

Digital Deformity

Many disorders can affect the joints of the toes, causing pain and preventing the foot from functioning as it should. People of all ages can have toe problems, from inherited to acquired.

Toe deformities in adults are caused mainly by an imbalance of the tendons, causing them to stretch or tighten abnormally. People with abnormally long toes, flat feet, or high arches have a greater tendency to develop toe deformities.

Arthritis is another major cause of discomfort and deformity. Toe deformities also can be aggravated by poorly-fitting footwear, or if a fractured toe heals in a poor position.

The most common digital deformities are hammertoes, claw toes, mallet toes, bone spurs, overlapping and underlapping toes, and curled toes
Hallux Limitus (Stiff Big Toe Joint)
Hallux Rigidus (Stiff Big Toe)
Hallux Varus
Hammertoes
Intoeing

Intoeing is a condition caused by curving inward of the feet when walking or running. Young children normally outgrow this condition without special shoes.
Overlapping or Underlapping Toes
Subungal Exotosis

A Subungual Exostosis is more commonly referred to as a bone spur under toenail. They generally are a result of some form of trauma to the toe, forming a bony irregularity or prominence. They are normally treated by surgical removal. Other small tumors called Osteochondromas and Enchondromas can also form in the bone beneath the toenail as well as in other bones in the body.