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Most people have a pretty decent idea as to how toes are supposed to appear – lying flat and facing forward. It can be disconcerting, then, when you notice one (or several) of your toes has an abnormal bend and is not flat. There are several related conditions which result in a toe deformity, including hammertoes. If this is something you are experiencing, be sure to schedule an appointment with Jeffrie C. Leibovitz, D.P.M. in Indianapolis, IN for effective treatment.
In spite of their similarities, each of these toe deformities has its own particular nuances that distinguishes it from the others:
- Hammertoes – If your toe has an abnormal bend at the middle joint causing it to point down and towards the floor, this is the condition you are experiencing. In all likelihood, you will encounter this condition in the second toe.
- Mallet Toes – In a similar fashion, this condition also is marked by an abnormal downwards bend. The key distinction is that this deformity’s bend takes place in the joint that is closest to the tip of the toe. As with hammertoes, these most frequently affect the second toe.
- Claw Toes – A major distinction between this particular deformity and the other two is that claw toe typically happens to all of the four smaller toes. In addition to that difference, claw toes bend upwards at the joint where the toes meet the foot (the metatarsophalangeal joint), and then bend downwards at the other two joints, which creates a claw-like appearance.
When we note the symptoms of these closely-related conditions, the most prominent is simply the fact that the toes are bent in an abnormal manner and do not sit straight as they are intended. In addition, you will probably experience pain and discomfort when you walk. Your risk of developing calluses on the toes is also increased with these conditions. This happens because the deformed toes rub against the insides of footwear, which are not often designed for individuals with these issues.