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Extensive Treatment for Forefoot Deformities

While some forefoot deformities are present at birth, others may develop over time. Some people with a forefoot deformity have no symptoms at all, but others may experience pain and discomfort when walking or performing certain activities.

At EmergeOrtho, our Foot and Ankle physicians have decades of experience treating all types of forefoot deformities, offering the most sophisticated and comprehensive orthopedic care in the region.

What Is a Forefoot Deformity?

A forefoot deformity results from the misalignment of the bones in the front (anterior) portion of the foot. Five metatarsal bones and 14 phalanges (toe bones) are the areas that comprise the forefoot. When one or more of these bones shift to the wrong position, it can affect how the foot functions. The skin may harden in certain areas, causing calluses and pressure sores.

Additionally, strain to the tendons and muscles may lead to wear and tear of the bone joints (causing osteoarthritis). Forefoot deformity has also been linked to rheumatoid arthritis.

And, while some people may not experience symptoms, others may have difficulty walking and performing exercises without pain and discomfort.

Types of Forefoot Deformities

There are several different types of forefoot deformities, the most common of which include:

  • A foot and ankle expert is examining a patient for a forefoot deformity, using a medical tool.Digital Deformities
    These deformities occur when toes are crooked, fused together, or have abnormal lengths. In some cases, patients may have an extra toe or missing toe.
  • Morton’s Neuroma
    This painful condition results when the tissue surrounding the nerves begins to thicken. It causes burning pain in the ball of your foot, in addition to stinging and numbing sensations.
  • Hammer Toe
    This condition affects the second, third, and fourth toes, causing the middle joint of the toe to bend (resembling a hammer). The deformity occurs from a muscle imbalance or when shoes do not fit the foot properly.
  • Claw Toe
    Claw toe happens when the toes are squeezed by shoes that are too small. Often, high heels can also pinch the toes. In addition, claw toe can also result from disease-related nerve damage (diabetes or alcoholism). The toes can bend upward or down, digging into the soles of your shoes. It is not uncommon for corns to develop under the ball of the foot or on the top of the toe because of claw toe deformity.

What Causes Forefoot Deformities?

As mentioned earlier, there is no one cause for forefoot deformities. Some may be caused by accidents or injuries. Others are congenital, meaning the deformity has been present since birth. In certain cases, such as Morton’s Neuroma and hammer toe, wearing high-heeled or ill-fitting shoes consistently can create the problem.

How Are Forefoot Deformities Treated?

Treatment for forefoot deformities depends upon the specific condition. It may involve nonsurgical techniques such as:

  • Wearing specialized shoes that are wider (with a deeper toe box)
  • Providing padding techniques that help redistribute weight and relieve pressure on the ball of the foot
  • Taping to force the toe(s) back into normal position
  • Removing painful lesion
  • Administering corticosteroid injections if bursitis is present

For more severe forefoot deformities or those that do not respond to conservative treatment methods, surgery may be recommended.

If your physician suggests a surgical procedure to relieve your symptoms, EmergeOrtho fellowship-trained experts utilize the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques. Patients who have minimally invasive surgery typically recover faster and have less postoperative pain than those who have had traditional, “open” surgical procedures.

Patient-Centered, Results-Driven Care

EmergeOrtho is dedicated to providing the highest quality, patient-centered treatment available. We utilize the latest state-of-the-art technology coupled with compassionate care to help each and every patient Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better.

If you have been experiencing pain and discomfort due to forefoot deformity, request a visit now.

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