Curly Toes

Curly Toes

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What is a Curly Toe? Learn more about its symptoms and causes


Curly toes, otherwise known as Clinodactyly and Adductovarus deformity, describes when some of the toes curl inwards when a child is standing. It often affects the third, fourth and fifth toes. The shape is usually present from birth, becoming more noticeable as your child begins walking. Curly toes are a common condition that affects infants and children and is present from birth. The condition may become more noticeable as your child begins to walk.  The toes curl under because the tendons that bend the toes are too tight and pull one toe under the next one, curling it towards the underside of the foot.

Symptoms of Curly Toes

In many children curly toes do not cause any symptoms.  Some children may experience the following:

  • Flattening or thickening of the toenails
  • Sores or blisters from pressure
  • Difficulty wearing some style of shoes
  • Pain or discomfort  with activities

Causes of Curly Toes

We all have tendons that run beneath our foot and attach to our toes, supporting the healthy function of the foot. Curly toes develop because the tendons that run beneath the toes pull on the toes so that they curl downwards and may rotate inwards. This condition appears to run in families, as it often presents in several generations.

Moreover, if you notice your child’s toes start to curl with prominent bumps at the joints, they may have hammertoes or claw toes. These usually occur from changes to the joints in the toes and may occur as a result of pressure from tight footwear.

Also, often curly toes will spontaneously correct themselves as a child continues to grow and develop. However, there are some cases where treatment will be required – a podiatrist can assist you in determining whether any treatment will be necessary to correct the positioning.


Are you suffering from this condition? One of our podiatrist can assist and recommend what treatment options are best to get you back on track.
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at 44 (0) 207 101 4000. 📞



We hope you have a feetastic day! 👣☀️

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team




Check our latest blog about Hallux Rigidus here👣💥/

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Check our blog about Overriding/Underriding Toe here

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Chiropodist Chelsea SW10

Paola Ash at the Chelsea Clinic

At The Chelsea clinic we have a very specific skill set with regards the foot and ankle. Pleased to offer a bespoke service which is tailored to the individual. With over 20 years experience in the Fitness and Healthcare industry we are registered and qualified with the Health Care Professions Council, the College of Podiatry and the General Osteopathic Council.