Why Did This Happen?
Although causes can vary based on the specific condition in question, most deformities are rooted in an underlying problem with either the structure of your feet or the way that you walk.
You may have noticed that deformities such as bunions and hammertoes tend to run in families. This is no mere coincidence. It’s likely that you inherited a foot structure that was more prone than normal to developing a deformity over time.
Those underlying imbalances can then be exacerbated by frequently wearing poorly fitted shoes that do not offer the support or cushioning you need in the proper areas.
In a lot of cases, the muscle pairs responsible for flexing, contracting, and extending a toe or joint become imbalanced, pulling the joint out of alignment when “at rest.” Over time, the bones begin to adapt to this new arrangement, triggering the onset of arthritic pain.
What Are the Consequences & Complications?
Unfortunately, most foot deformities tend to worsen over time without proper intervention.
In the earliest stages, there may be no pain at all, and you may feel that you can continue living your life as you wish.
However, as the deformity worsens, you may find it harder and harder to do your favorite activities without pain. Your shoes may no longer fit. Joints become more rigid, inflexible, and arthritic.
If you wait months or even years to deal with a worsening bunion, hammertoe, or other deformity, the unfortunate truth is that it may leave you with surgery as the only available recourse.