Foot deformities are becomming more and more common. For instance, Mallet toe is a form of such foot-related abnormalities. In this condition, the joint closest to the tip of the toe is bent, causing an unusual arch to form. It can affect any toe; however, the second toe is the one most often affected. If you experience mallet toe, you may experience discomfort when walking and standing. The main reasons are your nail being vertically pushed down, and the protruded bone causing friction between the skin and the shoe.
Research on Mallet Toe reveals several causes of this irregularity. Some people may have genetically greater tendency towards developing this condition. Others acquire bad habits of wearing excessively high heels and/or poorly fit shoes. In both such shoes, the toe region is constricted and your second toe (being the longest) is forced to curl. In some patients of arthritis, diabetes, and stroke, such toe deformation is a result of weaker nerves, bones and muscle co-ordination.
The symptoms of a Mallet toe may vary in severity. You could have a stiff, bent toe that regains its actual position after you get rid of the problematic shoes. However, if you continue with these, the muscle tendons would start losing their elasticity. Calluses on feet may also occur as pressure and constant friction are experienced by the toe. In the worst cases, the toe gets stuck in this position and it’s tricky to treat it with mere habit-change. Whenever such symptoms manifest, you should immediately seek advice from your physician or podiatrist. The diagnosis must be timely for the appropriate treatment to be carried out.
The most recommended options that doctors offer Mallet toe patients include the use of shoes that are not narrow at the toe region. Your shoes must have adequate space so that your toes do not overlap and/or excessively rub against the shoe from inside. Patients with initial stages of the ailment are easily cured by such measures. Other alternatives that are prescribed by doctors include shoe-inserts, stress-relieving pads, etc. These are usually effective when the toe still retains some flexibility.
Surgical methods may also be used by the doctors to reverse the damage to the toe. More commonly, a short sugical procedure is carried out where the tendons are relaxed and the pressure on bones is alleviated through making a small incision. Depending on the age, cause and nature of the Mallet toe, doctors will decide this type of surgical correction is suitable.
The causes of Mallet toe are usually related to your negligence in wearing appropriate footwear. So, you can easily prevent this toe distortion by opting for comfortable shoes. Check your feet regularly for any symptoms of abnormality. If you experience discomfort and spot an unusually bent toe, it’s time to realize that you need a professional’s advice. If this problem is tracked earlier, there are greater chances of uncomplicated and immediate cure.