Digital Disorders

West Vancouver Foot Clinic Relieves Your Digit Pain

Digital Disorders and Treatments

Corns, calluses and pain may indicate joint problems. One of the major culprits of toe deformities in adults is tendon imbalance.

Common Deformities

Hammertoes, claw toes, mallet toes, bone spurs, overlapping and under lapping toes, and curled toes are the most common digital deformities. Corns and calluses are a build-up of skin on the affected joint. These are often associated with a joint bursitis and are the most noticeable and bothersome symptoms.


A hammertoe may be flexible or rigid, and may occur on any of the lesser toes. Ligaments and tendons that have tightened cause the toe’s joints to buckle, cocking the toe upward. As time passes, the toe can become permanently buckled or rigid, requiring surgery for correction. Mallet toes and claw toes are similar in appearance to hammertoes, but the location of the joint deformity on the toe is at a different location. When the joint at the end of the toe buckles, it is a mallet toe, while a claw toe involves abnormal positions of all three joints of the toe.


Bone Spurs

A bone spur is an overgrowth of bone that may occur alone or along with a hammertoe. Painful corns and calluses are the major symptoms. Any one of the toes can overlap or under lap, pushing on adjacent toes and causing irritation. Overlapping or under lapping of the fifth toe is a common congenital problem that is easily corrected in children. Bunions can cause the second toe to overlap in adults.

Conservative Treatments

For people who have minor discomfort, the symptoms may be treated conservatively (without surgery). This usually involves: trimming or padding corns or calluses, wearing supportive orthotics, splints or small straps to realign the toe, or wearing shoes with a wider toe box. In certain cases, anti-inflammatory medications may be injected to relieve pain and inflammation.

Surgical Treatments

When the deformity is painful or permanent, surgical correction is recommended to relieve pain, correct the problem and provide a stable, functional toe. Depending on your health status, surgery may be conducted. The procedures are usually comfortably performed under local anesthesia.

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