A hammertoe is a crooked toe that is painful because the first knuckle of the toe sticks up and rubs on the toe box of the shoe. A mallet toe is a toe in which the last joint is bent downward at a right angle so that the tip of the toe is pushed into the sole of the shoe. A claw toe is a toe that is bent at both joints so that it is shaped like a claw. Pain in the ball of the foot is common with hammertoes and claw toes. Each of these deformities occurs because of muscle imbalance of the toe. Flexor to extensor tendon transfer Girdlestone-Taylor procedure. This procedure involves a release of one of the tendons that pulls the toe downwards (the flexor digitorum longus) at the tip of the toe (distally) and a transfer of this tendon to the top of the toe (dorsal aspect of the proximal phalanx). This procedure aims to convert one of the primary deforming forces leading to clawing of the toes into a force that helps correct the deformity. It produces a fairly predictable correction of the toes, however, the surgery is slightly more involved than some of the other procedures. Recovery from Surgery The goal of hammertoe surgery is to correct the deformity in order to relieve pain and/or restore function to the digit. The degree of surgical intervention will depend on the severity of the deformity. Flexible deformities often require less aggressive surgery. Surgery that decreases the pull of the muscles responsible for the deformity may be used alone or in combination with other procedures at the joint to correct the position of the toes. If the deformity is only partially flexible, or completely rigid, then surgery on the bone structures as well as muscles and joints may be necessary. The APMA says that hammertoe can result from a muscle imbalance in the foot that puts undue pressure on the joints, ultimately causing deformity. Inherited factors can contribute to the likelihood of developing hammertoe. Arthritis, stroke or nerve damage from diabetes or toe injuries such as jamming or breaking a toe can affect muscle balance in the foot, leading to hammertoe. The Mayo Clinic says that wearing �improper� shoes often causes hammertoe. Shoes that squeeze the toes, such as those with a tight toe box or with heels higher than two inches, can put too much pressure on the toe joints. You Might Also Like Treatments Bruces foot massage had called my attention back to those numerous deformed toes Id discovered at the shoe store on our first date. I asked him if he had pain with those as well. Apparently he had a history of difficulty with his feet since the stroke. He had one pair of orthopedic shoes in his closet that were so dusty the leather could not be seen. The heels had worn down from walking and the cost to repair was well above his means. It was funny how he felt that just owning the shoes was all that was needed to keep his feet healthy! The very last resort for bunions is surgery. I have seen this operation performed many times. There are various types of operation done and there does not seem to be any definitive procedure, each surgeon having their own method. If you do decide on this, if bunions affect both feet, do not request both feet being done together. You will be in plaster for a number of weeks and getting around will be very difficult. It can be successful but will alter the integrity of the foot and unless the pain is unbearable it may be simpler to consider less intrusive methods first. I decided that she was born with this bonus accessory for a reason and if it didn�t hurt her, it didn�t hurt me. We�ve never had a problem with it being caught in our adventures here in the mountains so my advice is to love and accept all of your pet just as they do you- quirky extra-terrestrial toes and all. Tiffany Narron is proud of her dog Bellas extra doggie appendage and, despite being a little freaked out at first, has grown accustomed to it. It certainly does not hinder their adventures together on the streets and mountain trails in and around Asheville, North Carolina. The quick and crucial answer to the question, �What�s the difference between flat and flaccid feet?� is that flat feet, though they have fallen arches, retain mobility whereas flaccid feet have lost the ability to move at all. Both conditions are long term consequences of the polio virus, which in its most severe form can lead to paralysis and deformity. Ninety-five percent of the time, the virus never makes it out of the intestinal tract, and so the infected person is spared the more serious symptoms and instead suffers from what feels like symptoms of a common flu or cold. An individual dinosaur footprint can provide a considerable amount of information to an ichnologist (a scientist specialising in the study of footprints and tracks), however, much more data can be obtained if a set of prints, a trackway of an animal is preserved. Although it can be difficult to associate a particular genus or even a family to a set of prints (unless of course the maker of the prints is found preserved as a fossil at the end of the tracks), scientists can tell a lot about the movement of the animal, even an estimate of the speed of travel can be made.