The name Deinonychus means "terrible claw" which refers to the enlarged sickle-shaped claw at the end of the second toe of each of its feet. These claws were the dinosaur's primary hunting weapons and in order to keep them sharp and ready for use they held them up so they would not drag on the ground. The dinosaur's attack strategy, especially for larger animals, was probably to leap towards its prey and first get a hold with its "hands" and teeth in addition to the smaller claws of its feet and then deliver more powerful slashing blows with the sickle-shaped main claw. If some flexibility exists in the toe, your surgeon will make an incision over the deformed toe joint and realign the tendons and ligaments. Pins may be placed to keep the toe in position while healing. The incision will then be closed with sutures and covered with a sterile dressing. If the toe deformity is rigidly fixed, your surgeon will make the incision over the joint of the deformity, realign the tendons and ligaments, and also perform an osteotomy which is the removal of bone pieces. Your surgeon will then insert pins to keep the toes in proper alignment during the healing process. The use of padding, taping, footwear changes, and removal of callouses or steroid injections may all be used to help relieve symptoms. Padding can help to reduce abnormal pressures caused by the deformity. Taping techniques or the use of a splint can be used to reduce the a flexible deformity. Changing the patient's footwear can also help to reduce discomfort. These shoe changes can include a wider or higher toe box to better accommodate the toes. Removal of built-up callouses often associated with hammer toes can help minimize discomfort. Occasionally, steroid injections may be used to temporarily reduce the pain and swelling within the toe joints. You may notice less range of motion in the affected joint. Your foot or ankle may also feel stiff, especially after periods of inactivity. Depending on the severity of your arthritis, you may also develop swelling and inflammation. The affected joint may also feel warm to the touch. According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, in some cases the symptoms become severe enough to affect your quality of life. You Might Also Like Joint Deformity Also check if they need to be retired. Look for straps about to break, or heel cushioning wearing away. Try a new pair and check the difference between that and your old pair. Lesser toe deformities can often be treated nonsurgically, but if the patient doesn't respond well to those treatments, surgery is also an effective option. Nonsurgical treatments can include pads or gel sleeves to reduce pressure on the toe joint; or wraps, tape, or shoe inserts designed to guide the toes into a proper alignment. Surgery may involve reconstruction of the soft tissues, bones, or a combination of both. The most important thing the public should take from this is to be conscious of your footwear," Dr. Shirzad says. "Well-fitted shoes that do not pinch the foot or constrict the toes can prevent many toe deformities." A high-arched foot leans to the outside, which is termed lateral instability. According to Weil Foot and Ankle Institute, lateral instability causes the heel to tilt inward, which forces the rest of the foot to lean outward. This makes it easier for those with a cavus foot to sprain an ankle, sometimes just by walking. Someone with a cavus foot may not be able to tolerate standing for long periods of time because of foot fatigue. Wearing high-topped shoes can help stabilize the ankle. Plantar Fasciitis When the toe deformity is painful or permanent, surgical repair is performed to relieve pain, correct the problem, and provide a stable, functional toe. In many instances, patients will have a story regarding how the acquired their hammer toes. Some describe ill fitting shoes as a child while others blame high heels or some trendy shoe craze. While these stories may seem credible, they typically have little to do with the onset of hammer toes. In most cases, hammer toes are caused by the biomechanical properties of your feet and ankles that you inherit from your family. Diabetic patients have poor immunity and their white blood cells (WBC) do not reach at the site of infection at right time and in right number; what is termed as impaired chemotaxis of WBCs. There are so many alternatives to declawing, one is to routinely clip just the tip of the nail with simple nail clippers, something most cat owners can do themselves, or there are also nail clips that can be attached painlessly to the nail, such as the Soft Paws brand. Especially pointe shoes, which must fit snuggly, and however accommodate a long second toe. You are going to turn into extremely specific with toe spacers, toe caps and any other padding that will help your toes remain lengthy in the shoes, and be protected from creating blisters and corns due to their bent joints. On physical examination, the physician will want to identify the main areas of tenderness. This will give some indication as to the cause of the pain. If the tenderness is on the top of the toes and is associated with some callus formation, symptoms are likely from direct pressure on the top (dorsal aspect) of the toe. If tenderness occurs on the tip of the toe, this may be from dynamic driving of the tip of the toe (“hammering”) into the sole of the shoe. In addition, whether or not the toes are flexible or fixed is important. Treatment Non-Operative Treatment.