Foot Deformities

At the Foot & Ankle Associates Of Greater Pittsburgh, we know how painful foot deformities can be. In our office, you will get a new level of foot care where each step leads to a future without pain.

We think that having a foot deformity should not prevent you from experiencing life to the fullest. Our team of professionals is available to assist you and give you the best possible care available. We are dedicated to giving you the individualized care you need by using cutting-edge therapies and a compassionate team who truly listens. Contact our office to start your treatment with us.

When it comes to foot deformities, there are many different types. On this page, we will do a quick overview of some of the more common foot deformities, but if you want a more in-depth look, click on the links provided to see other pages that expand further.

Different Types of Foot Deformities


Bunions affect the joint at the base of the big toe. The big toe drifts towards the other toes and is often first noticed as a bony hump on the side of the foot, which can be uncomfortable and painful. Numerous things, like genetics, foot structure, and arthritis, can lead to bunions.

Bunions can cause discomfort, swelling, and redness in the affected area, as well as trouble walking and putting on shoes. The pain caused by bunions can be treated using conservative methods like cushioning and orthotics, but getting rid of a bunion requires surgery.

Tarsal Coalition

Tarsal coalition causes pain and limited movement in the foot by fusing two or more bones in the foot together. The most common types of tarsal coalitions develop in your teens. However, they are sometimes not symptomatic until later in life. You may experience foot discomfort or stiffness as a result.

Tarsal coalitions can range in severity from minor to severe, and the best course of action will depend on the particular circumstances. Conservative treatments like physical therapy or the use of orthotics may occasionally be successful in pain relief. For feet with more severe cases of fused bones, surgery may be required to separate the bones and regain mobility.

Peroneal Tendon Dislocation/ Dysfunction

Peroneal tendon dislocation or dysfunction refers to a condition in which the peroneal tendons outside of the ankle and foot become dislocated or move out of place. This may result in ankle pain and swelling, and is commonly associated with ankle sprains.

Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

The posterior tibial tendon, which is a key component in maintaining the arch of your foot, can become damaged and weakened by many factors, leading to Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction. Frequently, it manifests due to the condition of aging, overuse of the tendon, or a regrettable injury. It is often associated with a flat foot deformity, which increases the work required by the tendon to support the arch. This can cause discomfort and impede walking capabilities. The condition can be a stubborn opponent, but you can help your posterior tibial tendon get back in the game with the right treatment plan.


Metatarsalgia is a condition that affects the foot and causes pain in the ball of the foot. The persistent pressure of day-to-day actions such as running, walking, or leaping can lead to metatarsalgia. Think of metatarsalgia as the “foot fatigue” of the ball of the foot, but do not let it slow you down! You can easily get back on your feet with the right treatment.

To alleviate the symptoms of metatarsalgia, treatment options such as rest, ice therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy can be implemented. Additionally, custom orthotics may provide a solution to redistribute pressure more evenly throughout the foot.


Hammertoes can cause a highly uncomfortable situation in which the toes curve downward at the middle joint and have an appearance similar to that of a hammer. The condition generally results in pain, trouble walking, and calluses.

You may be able to find relief with proper shoes, padding, and splinting. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the deformity and relieve your pain.

Bone Spurs

The calcium deposits on bones can develop into bony growths called bone spurs. They may develop on the toe bones or the heel of the foot. Bone spurs can also be a complication of diseases like osteoarthritis. Bone spurs are frequently the consequence of normal wear and strain on the joints and bones.

In extreme circumstances, calluses or corns may also result from bone spurs. There are numerous ways to treat the pain caused by bone spurs, depending on how serious the condition is. Anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy are both options. Additionally, you have the option of using orthotics. However, the only way to remove the bone spur is through surgery.

Haglund's Deformity

Suffering from pain, inflammation, or redness in your heel? You may have Haglund’s deformity. This bony bump usually forms near the Achilles tendon, where it connects to the heel bone, and is sometimes caused by ill-fitting shoes.

Combat this condition with properly fitting footwear, supportive shoe inserts, physical therapy exercises, and, in extreme cases – surgery to remove the problem area entirely and relieve tension on the tendon.


Sesamoiditis is an inflammatory condition that affects the small bones located within tendons near the base of the big toe. During movement, these bones assist in balance and weight distribution. Sesamoiditis is often brought on by excessive use or repetitive stress on the big toe joint, which results in localized pain and inflammation.

Overlapping Or Underlapping Toes

When your toes tend to overlap or “stack” upon each other, it can be quite painful and arduous while walking. This phenomenon is referred to as “overlapping or underlapping toes.” Overlapping toes can cause pressure and friction, leading to the development of calluses and corns, while underlapping toes can cause pain and instability.

Many of these conditions are the result of underlying foot ailments, such as flat feet, bunions, and hammertoes. Treating overlapping or underlapping toes can range from utilizing orthotics, padding, and taping for mild cases, or surgical intervention in more severe situations.

Hallux Limitus (Stiff Big Toe Joint)

Hallux Limitus is arthritis of the great toe joint. This arthritis limits the motion available, which can make walking extremely painful.

Fortunately, there are treatment solutions for this condition, orthotics, corticosteroid injections, and surgery. With proper medical attention, you will be able to keep your feet healthy, strong, and ready for life’s adventures!

Flat Feet

Known as fallen arches, flat feet are a medical condition in which the arch of one’s foot collapses and causes the sole to come into contact with the ground. Subsequently, this can lead to pain, discomfort, and difficulty maintaining balance while walking or running.

To alleviate any issues brought on by flat feet, there are several treatment options, such as physical therapy, orthotics fitting for shoes, and even surgery for more severe cases – all designed to improve your overall foot function!

Claw Toe

If you suffer from claw toe, a foot deformity where your toes bend downward at the tip of the toe, then you may experience pain and difficulty with balance and walking. Nerve conditions like peripheral neuropathy or arthritis can lead to this condition; however, it is often found in those who wear ill-fitting shoes too.

There are ways to tackle the issue of claw toe. Splinting, taping, and orthotics, are useful, as are shoe modifications or surgery (in severe cases) to successfully counter the deformity itself.

Amniotic Band Syndrome

Amniotic band syndrome is an inborn disorder where the amniotic sac’s fibrous bands wrap and tighten around elements of an unborn baby, resulting in malformations. These bonds can lead to a variety of abnormalities with feet, like clubfoot, polydactyly (extra toes), syndactyly (webbed toes), or others.

Treatment for amniotic band syndrome depends on the extent of deformity but may involve releasing strangling bands through surgery, or through the baby going through physical therapy sessions, and later on needing orthotics.

Mallet Toes

Mallet toes are a common deformity of the feet, resulting in your second, third, or fourth toes bending inward at the distal joint. This condition can be due to genetics, trauma, or wearing overly tight footwear.

It is possible to ease any associated discomforts with suitable shoes and padding, along with splints as needed. Additionally, physical therapy may assist in strengthening muscles, which will help prevent any further harm over time. And if more extreme cases occur, surgery could perhaps be necessary too for correcting toe shape altogether!

Hallux Varus

Hallux Varus is an unfavorable foot deformity in which the big toe points away from the center line of one’s body. Unfortunately, this condition may lead to pain, walking difficulties, and instability in that same area.

To address Hallux Varus issues, physical therapy, orthotics, or surgery can be performed to realign the large toe joint and increase stability within your feet.

Hallux Rigidus (Stiff Big Toe)

Hallux Rigidus is essentially end-stage hallux limitus. This is when the arthritis has become so significant, nearly any motion of the great toe joint causes severe pain. This debilitating condition may be due to an injury, arthritis, or overuse of the joint area, resulting in difficulty with balance and aching feet.

To seek relief from Hallux Rigidus symptoms, corticosteroid injections, NSAIDs, orthotics, or surgery if appropriate.

Osteomyelitis (Bone Infections)

Osteomyelitis is infection of bone. This is most often a consequence of a chronic, non-healing ulcer.

The symptoms of osteomyelitis include redness, swelling, increased heat, purulent drainage, and throbbing pain in the affected area. Sometimes this can be managed by a long course of antibiotics, but removal of the infected bone is the only guaranteed treatment of infection once it reaches the bone.


Enchondroma is a benign tumor that develops in the cartilage of the foot, causing pain, swelling, and restricted motion. Although monitoring and medications may be used to alleviate these symptoms, sometimes surgery is necessary to remove the tumor while preserving the integrity of our bones.


Clubfoot is an inborn condition where the ankle of one foot rotates inward and downward, causing it to point toward the other leg. This can be painful and uncomfortable and make it very difficult for infants to learn to walk or keep their balance.

To address this issue, a combination of stretching exercises, casts, and possibly surgery may be applied if needed, all with the goal being to improve function by straightening out the foot’s position. It is extremely rare to see in a first world country, as it is typically caught and addressed right away.

Let Us Help You with Your Foot Deformities

The Foot & Ankle Associates of Greater Pittsburgh can provide you with personalized and comprehensive treatment options for any foot deformities. Our highly experienced team of physicians is dedicated to providing the best possible care, offering everything from physical therapy and custom orthotics to minimally invasive or traditional surgery solutions.

We will craft a customized treatment plan that fits your specific needs and goals, ensuring that you receive the highest level of quality service possible!

Do not let foot deformities continue to impact your daily life and overall well-being. Take the first step toward a pain-free future by calling 724-774-1525 or by completing our online contact form. We look forward to serving you!

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336 College Avenue, Suite 106, Beaver,
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