-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
MONDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Hammer toes, curly toes,
crossover toes and bunions are not only painful, they can be a red
flag for other health problems, a new report warns.
According to a review published in the August issue of the
Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, deformities of the lesser toes, which includes all the toes except for the big toe, should be treated as early as possible by an orthopaedic surgeon to avoid other complications.
"Toe pain can limit a person's quality of life," said the review's lead author, Dr. Khalid Shirzad, an orthopaedic surgeon at Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists, P.S., in Spokane, Wash., in a news release. "When it hurts to walk, that person will start decreasing time spent on activities they enjoy. If the initial problem is not treated, it may lead to further issues such as skin infections, deformities, and muscular problems."
Most often, the review authors pointed out, deformities of the
lesser toes are the result of shoes that don't fit, or hurt. Other
causes of these conditions include: injury; inflammatory arthritis;
neuromuscular and metabolic diseases, such as cerebral palsy,
multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis; and genetics.
Although diabetes doesn't directly cause toe deformities, it can
cause people to lose sensation in their feet, and as a result, they
may not notice when they have a painful toe injury or deformity,
These foot conditions -- in which the toes are bent, misaligned
or curled -- cause redness, swelling, sores or calluses where the
affected toes meet the inside of a shoe, the experts noted. There
are, however, several effective nonsurgical treatments for these
Surgical options are also available for patients with persistent
toe deformities, but surgery may involve reconstruction of the soft
tissues, bones or both, the authors pointed out in the news
"The most important thing the public should take from this is to be conscious of your footwear," said Shirzad. "Well-fitted shoes that do not pinch the foot or constrict the toes can prevent many toe deformities."
The U.S. National Library of Medicine provides more information
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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