When the tissue beneath your toenails hardens, clubbing of the nails occurs. The condition is caused by lack of oxygen reaching the tissue, which results in the widening of the toe nails. The nails will also begin to curve downwards as a result of the thicker tissue. Clubbing of the toes can cause pain and discomfort, which makes it difficult for the patient to walk. However, people who suffer from clubbed toes usually have a much more serious underlying condition. There are over 100 possible causes of clubbed toes – with heart or lung conditions being the most common.
There are a number of types of congenital heart diseases which can cause clubbed toes. Examples of contributing heart defects include Truncus arteriosus, Tricuspid atresia, and Tetralogy of Fallot. Heart defects which are detected at birth will help your physician more easily identify the cause of your clubbed toes. However, there are some heart defects which do not begin to affect the sufferer until later life, when the heart or arteries fail to develop normally. In such cases you will need to have the condition checked to establish the cause.
Diseases of the Lungs
When the lungs are unable to effectively supply oxygen to your toes, clubbing may occur as a result. Any condition of the lungs which causes clubbing of the toes is most likely serious. One of the major causes of clubbing is lung cancer. The clubbing may also present before a diagnosis of lung cancer is given, so it is important to visit your doctor or chiropodist as soon as symptoms of clubbing appear. Bronchietasis affects the bronchi or branches of the lungs, which can lead to a lack of oxygen to the toes. Other conditions, such as pulmonary fibrosis and lung abscesses can also cause a flair up of clubbed toes.
Celiac disease, cirrhosis of the liver, cystic fibrosis, and familial diseases can also cause clubbing of the toes. However, there are so many possible underlying causes that it is best to work with your general petitioner and a chiropodist in order to determine the best course of action. It is important that you receive treatment for the underlying condition right away, as some of the most common causes of clubbed toes are life threatening. Regardless of the cause, you will also need treatment to ensure that you do not suffer any lasting damage to your feet or mobility.
Any condition which affects your ability to walk can have a lasting, negative impact on your mobility. Sufferers of clubbed toes find it difficult to correctly place the affected foot on the ground, which can lead to limping or other problems with your gait. Further complications can arise if the muscles begin to atrophy, which will lead to weakening and degeneration of the affected muscles.
A chiropodist can help diagnose the cause of clubbed toes, as well as providing treatment for the condition. Step by Step will prescribe you with a course of treatment which will help relieve pain and reduce any inflammation resulting from the clubbing of the toes. Additional treatments include massage and manipulation to help increase blood flow to the toes. We will create a treatment plan which is tailored to your specific needs, so that you can regain your mobility and concentrate on receiving treatment for any underlying conditions.
If you suspect that you are developing clubbed toes, contact us ASAP and we will get you booked in for an appointment right away. If you work during the week, we can also arrange a Saturday appointment to fit with your schedule.