Whenever you take a forward, backward, or lateral step, your toes are involved in making that movement happen. Because they play such an important role, toe deformities can cause pain and reduced mobility. Most commonly, toe deformities are inherited or develop over time due to recurring pressure, improperly fitting footwear, or injury. Those with longer toes or arch problems might be more prone to toe deformities.
The big toe, also known as the hallux, has larger joints and absorbs a lot of pressure, making it a frequent subject of toe deformities. Symptoms commonly include pain, redness, and swelling. The following are 4 deformities that you might encounter:
- Bunions: Bunions occur when the joint at the base of the big toe becomes enlarged and causes the toe to point towards and possibly overlap the smaller toes.
- Hallux varus: Hallux varus is similar to a bunion in the sense that it results in a big toe that bends, but in this case, it points away from the other toes.
- Hallux limitus: Hallux limitus is an arthritic condition that occurs when there is stiffness in the joints at the base of the big toe, severely restricting the toe’s range of motion.
- Hallux rigidus: Hallux rigidus is the end result of untreated hallux limitus, when the cartilage in the big toe has been so worn down that the toe becomes unmovable.
As you can see, all 4 of these deformities can inhibit your ability to walk without pain, so it is important that they are treated in their early stages. Treatment may include orthotic inserts, toe stretches, anti-inflammatory injections, and in severe cases, surgery. Fortunately for those in Central New York, board-certified podiatrist Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico of Syracuse Podiatry can provide the full range of quality, expert care. He also has experience treating other foot and ankle ailments, including diabetic wounds, heel pain, and much more. If you would like to ask a question or make an appointment, contact us or call our Fayetteville office at (315) 446-3668