The foot is divided into the hindfoot, forefoot, and midfoot. We are dealing with the forefoot which has toe bones and metatarsal bones which are long bones of your foot. Each toe is two joints and three phalange bones while the big toe has two phalange bones that enable the toe to move. Toe deformities occur due to abnormal positioning of the foot bones, diseases that affect the tissues and bones, and inadequate biomechanics. Toe deformities affect the alignment of the tissues, bones, and joints and might even affect the weight-bearing joints such as knees or hips. Some deformities include mallet toes, hammertoes, and claw toes and you need specialized hammertoe treatment Houston by Houston Hammertoe Specialist to correct the deformity.
Causes of toenail deformities
These deformities can be present at birth or congenital, although others happen later in life from wearing improper footwear such as high heels or improper-fitting shoes. Some underlying health issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and stroke cause the tightening of tendons and ligaments affecting the functioning of the nerves and muscles. In some cases, injuries cause toe deformities. In the initial stages, the patient may complain of pain under the ball of the foot which is present with every step. There can be swelling and being barefoot is more uncomfortable than wearing a cushioned shoe.
Characteristics of hammertoes deformity
The toe is bent at the middle joint and the toe curls resembling a hammer. Hammertoe is common in the second toe although it can affect the third and fourth toes. A bunion is a bony growth that can be seen along the hammertoe.
Symptoms of deformed toes
A mallet toe, hammertoe, and claw toe feel pain while wearing shoes and it might be difficult to wear comfortable and properly fitting shoes. Improper-fitting footwear cause friction and pressure resulting in hard skin outgrowths.
No diagnostic test is required to diagnose toenail deformities just a physical examination. If the podiatrist suspects nerve involvement in the toenail deformity then further testing might be tested.
Initially when the toenail deformities develop the toe is still flexible and conservative treatment can be used to maintain the function of the toe, delay progression, and relieve pain. Houston toe deformities surgery is considered at a later stage.
Some conservative treatments include getting shoes with an enlarged toe box with pads or cushions. To prevent skin breakdown. Avoid high-heels and tight narrow-toed shoes. Use splints or tape at night to reposition the toes. Toe stretching exercises are also necessary to ensure that the flexibility of the toenail is maintained.
Where the toe bones are misaligned the toe, deformities are likely to occur. Most toes start flexible and may become rigid causing them to be treated through surgical methods. In severe toenail deformities that are rigid and immovable and unresponsive to conservative treatment fail. The main benefit of surgery is to help the normal return to normal function pain-free and restore normal alignment. The Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery Houston procedure is chosen based on the deformed toe. In toes where there is flexibility, the surgeon makes an incision to realign the ligaments and tendons. Pins are placed to keep the toe in position while healing. The incisions are closed and a sterile dressing is put over them.
Tendon transfer: the foot surgeon removes tendons from the bottom of the toe to re-route to the top of your toe. It allows the tendon to become a corrective force instead of a deforming force that is causing the deformation of the toe to a bent position.
Arthroplasty is where the joint is removed. The incision is done over the top of the joint and the soft tissues are repaired and closed with non-dissolvable sutures. The Houston Hammertoe Specialist might use a k-wire that remains in place for 6 weeks.
There are general complications that are associated with surgical procedures but there are complications associated with toenail correction surgeries. Some of these include stiffness of the toe and inadequate correction of the deformity. Rarely we can have damage to the surrounding nerves and loss of blood supply to the toes.
Following a Houston hammertoe surgery wear a special post-op shoe for 6 weeks to prevent bending on the operated toe.