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Plymouth Paediatric Orthopaedics

Toes

It is not uncommon for parents to be concerned about the shape of their children’s toes, particularly if one is not as straight as the others. One or more may over or under ride its neighbour. So called “curly” toes rarely need any treatment. It is usually caused by an imbalance in activity between the flexor (bending) and extensor (straightening) tendons. If the toes have broken skin or pressure areas not relieved by spacers bought in the chemist, then rarely a small operation to release the tendon underneath the toe (flexor tenotomy) may be indicated. X-rays of curly toes is seldom required.

Rarely, if all of the toes of one or both feet are clawed as if gripping an object and the in-step is particularly high, there may be an underlying neurological cause that requires further investigation, usually in the form of an MRI scan. Treatment for these feet varies significantly from that of curly toes, and is tailored depending on the underlying diagnosis.