If you have ever looked at your feet and wondered if they are not quite right or do not look "normal," then a visit to an orthopedist may be in order. He or she can tell you if you actually have any deformities and whether or not you should do anything about them. Human feet commonly have some deformities, and the people who have these deformities can go their entire lives without fixing them. However, if you experience a lot of pain, numbness or discomfort, then you may definitely want to try surgery. Here are some common foot deformities and how orthopedic surgeons correct them.


Babies and children generally tend to have flat feet. It is only through walking and improving muscle and tendon strength that the arches begin to appear. However, children with pronation of the foot or feet have weakened ankles that allow the feet to fall inward toward each other. When that happens, the feet go flat and never really do develop arches. The arches may be there if the child points his/her toes, but the strength to keep the arches up is not.

An orthopedic surgeon corrects your flatfootedness usually by placing special pins in the ankles that keep the feet from rolling inward. While the surgery is very painful and your ankles may feel quite uncomfortable for a while after the surgery, your feet will feel a lot better in the long-run because the tendons will not be pulled out of whack while you are standing or walking.


Bunions are the result of wearing shoes that are far too narrow for your feet or wearing shoes that apply too much pressure to the ball joints and toes. To surgically treat a bunion, the surgeon opens the flesh around the bunion, shaves the bone down a little, and then may use surgical pins to realign the toe joint(s) with the rest of the foot. After surgery and rehab, you may have to wear orthopedic shoes the rest of your days to prevent bunions from reforming and prevent additional surgeries.

Hammer Toe

Hammer toe is usually a deformity of the big toe, although any of your toes could suffer from it. It is the direct result of cramming your feet into shoes that are definitely too small for your feet and then walking around in them all day for months and years at a time. To fix hammer toe, the orthopedic surgeon opens up the entire toe, saws/sands/grinds the toe bones into better shape, then drills a hole in the connecting bones where he or she places a straightening rod pin (or two). The toe is now forced to into a straightened position where the muscles and tendons of the toe can be strengthened, lengthened and straightened too. The pins may or may not come out of your toe at a later date depending on what your surgeon thinks is best.

For more information or to have your feet looked at, talk with an orthopedic clinic, or visit websites such as http://www.towncenterorthopaedics.com.