Curly toes

What are they?

Curly toes are very common and usually one or more of the three little toes are affected. The toe can curl down and under the adjacent toe. Toes are fairly flexible during infancy as they are mostly made up of cartilage before bones have hardened in teenage years.

What causes it?

Curly toes are thought to run in families and occurs due to tendons that flex the toes being too tight.

What are the symptoms?

Most of the time curly toes are not symptomatic. Somtimes these can occur:
-Pressure sores/blisters
-Problems with activity
-Toenails flattening/thickening
-Trouble fitting shoes

What can we do?

If the toe is fixed in the curly position, surgery may be required to permanently straighten the toe. Most people prefer not to have surgery but instead buy appropriate shoes that don’t apply painful pressure to the deformed toe(s).

If the toe is flexible, daily taping of the toe into the normal position over a period of time can permanently straighten the toe. This should be done as early as possible after birth. One of our podiatrists will instruct you how to perform the correct taping technique.

Taping duration varies with each child. It may take weeks to months to see changes occur. It is important to continue taping for 6 weeks after the toe has straightened to ensure permanent changes. An ideal time to tape is while your baby or child is feeding, sleepy or relaxed to keep wriggling to a minimum.

If you have a queries or worries, please call your podiatrist immediately.