Curly toes are a common condition that affects infants and young children. It is present from birth and may become more noticeable as a child begins to walk.

This condition tends to occur in the third and fourth toes on both feet. The toes curl under because the tendons that bend the toes are too tight, pulling one toe under the next.

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What are the signs and symptoms of curly toes?

Most children do not experience any symptoms from curly toes. The condition is only known because it is visible.

While usually asymptomatic, some children may experience:

  • Pain or discomfort with activity
  • Crossed toes
  • Sores, blisters or calluses
  • Occasional nail deformity

What causes curly toes?

This condition is hereditary. Curly toes tend to run in families; a child is more likely to have this condition if one or both parents does too.

How are curly toes diagnosed?

Doctors can diagnose curly toes based on appearance and examining the foot.

How are curly toes treated?

Treatment is usually not needed for curly toes unless a child experiences symptoms that cause pain or discomfort. However, your child may need surgery if curly toes cause persistent problems beyond 5-6 years old.

Doctors at Connecticut Children’s can determine the right plan to treat your child’s condition.