Hammered ,Clawed, Retracted, Triggered are all names used to describe a deformity of the smaller toes in the feet. In this large group of conditions, the toe is bent at one or more of their joints, causing it to acquire an abnormal shape and function. Left untreated, many of these will become inflexible and ultimately require osseous surgery. People with toe deformities may suffer pain, bursae, synovial cysts, corns or calluses on the top, the tip or in-between two toes.. They may also have difficulty finding comfortable shoes.
Causes of of these toe deformities may be due to systemic diseases, for example rheumatoid arthritis. Others may be congenital, meaning the individual was born with them. The vast majority are due to functional/structural imbalance, causing the muscles controlling the foot to literally pull the toe into an acquired deformity over time.
Before a course of treatment can be recommended, the true underlying cause must be determined. This will involve review of history of the condition, medial history, physical examination, weight baring exam and most importantly gait analysis.
Treatment for the condition typically involves treatment of the presenting associated lesions, modifying the gait pattern if related, wearing shoes with soft, roomy toe boxes and exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles. Commercially available straps, cushions, or non-medicated corn pads may also relieve symptoms on a short term basis.
In severe cases, where the toe deformity is resistant to change, surgical correction can be performed. We perform a wide variety of digital surgical procedures specific to the unique nature of the the deformity, available range of motion and degree of correction required.