Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ

Question:

I have a condition called splayfoot. It looks pretty cool but will it cause me problems later on in life?

Answer:

Splayfoot is an abnormal width of the forefoot. Splayfoot may develop slowly over 10 or 20 years, sometimes longer. The forefoot looks quite large for the size of the foot and for the width of the heel. Usually the big toe (first metatarsal) and second metatarsal are affected. The angles between the toes are larger than they should be.

As the bones drift apart the soft tissues are stretched allowing the bones to drift even more. If the bones spread too far, then subluxation or partial dislocation can occur. Joint sprains are less common when the ligaments and capsule are injured.

Splayfoot can cause pain as the deformity gets worse. The muscles become unstable and no longer support the foot or move the toes the way they are supposed to. Walking can become more difficult as the big toe is no longer able to push off from the ground normally.

There are some simple exercises that can help. You may want to see an orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist to help you with some conservative measures. Surgery may be needed if the problem progresses too far.

Shepard Hurwitz, MD. Evaluating Bunions, Offering Relief. In Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine. January 2006. Vol. 23. No. 1. Pp. 50-56.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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