Foot Conditions - Painful Progressive Deformity
Many foot conditions like bunions, for example, are usually progressive in nature. The misalignment of the toe joint gradually worsens as the muscular imbalance around the joint continues to pull the deformity into increasing misalignment (termed a subluxation, or a partial dislocation.)
Hammer toes are another condition which typically worsen over time, creating more deformity, pain and corns that can impede many activities as well as simply wearing shoes. A podiatrist can help you determine if conservative care such arch supports, orthotics, padding, or exercises might help slow the progression. Surgery is oftentimes the best option for chronic, highly distorted foot shapes.