When toes become "buckled" or "contracted", they are called Hammertoes. Daily shoe wear and improper alignment of bones in the foot, and flat feet are three of the more common causes of hammertoes. Over the years, toes will contract and buckle due to unequal tension on the bones of the toes. Hammertoes are not painful but as the contracted knucklebone of the toe rubs against shoes, the toe joint becomes irritated and inflamed, causing a painful corn.
Conservative treatment begins with wider shoes and padding to alleviate the symptoms. In most cases, orthotics are prescribed to correct the foot imbalance. Surgical removal of the bone deformity can be offered as an outpatient service, depending on the severity of the condition.
See a podiatrist at the first signs of irritation. Early detection can prevent the deformity from becoming severe and corrections can be made by wearing custom orthotics. Wear shoes with a high toe box (height at the top of the shoe).