Toe deformity can often cause toe pain and overall foot pain. Because so many types of conditions and injuries can cause this pain, it is important to understand the different possible causes, as well as consult a foot specialist, who can determine the cause of your pain, and offer a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan.
At the Foot and Ankle Surgery Center of Excellence in Los Angeles, our expert foot doctors specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of foot pain and deformity. If you are experiencing pain in your toes that persists for longer than a few days, you may want to consult with a board-certified podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon, who can help determine the cause of your toe pain, as well as the right course of treatment for you.
Toe Pain Causes
The most common causes of toe pain include:
Deformity – Toe deformity can be caused by many conditions, such as a bunions, hammertoe, claw toe, or overlapping toes, and is often inherited genetically.
Bunion – Bunions are protrusions on the big toe joint that form over time, typically as a result of an inherited condition, but also from environmental factors such as wearing the wrong shoes for an extended period.
Hammertoe – Hammertoe is a deformity involving the end of the toe becoming bent downward, usually at the middle joint.
Claw toe – Claw toe usually occurs in the four smaller toes at the same time, and involves the toes curling down at the toe joints nearest the tips of the toes.
Overlapping toes – Overlapping toes is a type of deformity of the toes (typically the fourth and fifth), which can cause tight-fitting shoes to be uncomfortable or un-wearable.
Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) – PTTD involves changes in the tibial tendon that impair its ability to support the arch of the foot, resulting in a flattening of the foot.
Ingrown toenail – An ingrown toenail usually affects the big toe and occurs when your toenail grows into the skin, rather than parallel to it. This condition can cause pain, swelling and sometimes infection.
Toe surgery is often performed to correct aesthetic issues, such as bunions, hammertoes, claw toes, or other deformities. However, many of these conditions can also cause pain and discomfort during daily activities, so many patients also undergo toe surgery for medical reasons.
While in the past, any type of foot surgery meant you would be off your feet for a long period, medical advances now allow patients to recover much faster. At the Foot and Ankle Surgery Center of Excellence, our surgeons specialize in the most minimally invasive procedures for treating conditions of the foot, and many of our procedures can be done on an outpatient basis, where patients go home the same day as their surgeries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is claw toe?
A: Claw toe is a deformity that causes the toes (usually the small ones) to curl inward at the furthest joint from the base of the toe. While claw toe may not require treatment in some cases, in other cases patients may find walking and wearing shoes to be difficult or impossible. In these situations, patients may need to undergo claw toe surgery to correct the deformity.
Q: What are the most common causes of big toe pain?
A: Big toe pain is usually caused by bunions or other deformities, but can also be caused by ingrown toenails, injuries to the big toe, or other conditions that cause toe pain.
Q: How do you cure overlapping toes?
A: Overlapping toes can be cured with an outpatient procedure that straightens the toe joints, and allows the patient to walk normally again and have aesthetically pleasing toes.
Q: When is toe surgery the right option?
A: When you experience chronic pain from a condition in your toes, or when the toes are unappealing to the eye and you are unhappy with your foot’s appearance, you may want to consider toe surgery as a treatment option.
Toe Pain Treatment in Los Angeles
When toe pain prevents you from engaging in daily activities, such as walking, standing, or even wearing your favorite shoes, you may want to explore your treatment options. To learn more about the procedures offered at the Foot and Ankle Surgery Center of Excellence, or to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified orthopedic surgeons or podiatrists, please call 888.225.0763 or fill out our online contact form.
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