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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Toes - Unable to bend

 kAh00t - Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:09 pm

Hey folks, I couldn't exactly find the right place to put this but it is relating to bones/bone structure.

I am a 20 yearold male, and I cannot seem to bend my big toe up towards my body to any large degree. I am a studying martial artist and footballer, and have noticed that others have the ability to bend their toes up quite vertical, considerably more than I am able to!

I was wondering if this is a known bone defect, or if it is a muscle inside the big toe that I am able to train to bend vertical.

I am in no pain, but it is a major inconvenience to both my social activity's and does not allow me to perform to my best :(

Thanks so much for your time.

David Manuel
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:01 am

User avatar David,
To differentiate between a bony problem or restriction and a muscular problem, grasp the toe and determine if it will move through full range of motion (without contracting the toe muscle). Now actively bend it upwards just using only the toe's musculature.

Which provides more movement?

If the former is more then probably a muscle problem.
If both are equal then more likely a bony problem.

In either case you can exercise the toe with range of motion exercise (passively or actively) given there is no pain or swelling. Continue exercise several times a day for a few weeks and look for progress.

If there is pain and swelling before or after exercise, have an x-ray done first.

Take care.

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