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View Full Version : How important is toe flexibility - may lose after surgery



renie
December 21st, 2007, 03:40 PM
Hi, so I already posted about my potential bone spur surgery in my toes--lots of views but no responses. I am very hesitant to go through with it, since I fear it will greatly impact swimming. INitially, I'm sure I won't be able to use my beloved fins (no, I don't use them the entire workout, but get a super workout when I do use them for 25% of the workout) Even worse, doc says I will lose toe flexibility - won't be able to point toes (big toe and little toe). It took me over a year to get my ankles/toes flexible after running for 25 years--does anyone know how this will affect my kick if I lose that flexibility? Thanks.

Rob Copeland
December 24th, 2007, 08:42 AM
Iíve never heard about any effects of toe flexibility on kicking. Ankle flexibility is important to get the feet into a streamlined propulsive position. I would think you would be better off with stiff toe rather then flexible ones. Similar to fins, where a rigid fins are faster than flexible ones.

ViveBene
December 24th, 2007, 09:12 AM
Hi - This is something of a puzzle. Maybe you can push the doc to clarify what he/she means by losing flexibility, and possibly why. Is he/she going to cut muscle/ligament/tendon unit? Often small changes result in a trifling loss of flexibility compared to opposite side; perhaps doc is preparing you. Your immediate postsurgical results won't be the status 6 months later. In any event, there's always the model of Jerry Garcia, who lost some joints from a middle finger --chopped right off -- and continued to play banjo and eventually tour with Grateful Dead.

Good luck with the surgery!

Regards, VB

renie
December 28th, 2007, 04:44 PM
Hi - This is something of a puzzle. Maybe you can push the doc to clarify what he/she means by losing flexibility, and possibly why. Is he/she going to cut muscle/ligament/tendon unit? Often small changes result in a trifling loss of flexibility compared to opposite side; perhaps doc is preparing you. Your immediate postsurgical results won't be the status 6 months later.
Regards, VB

Thx--good points - I will clarify that - it doesn't seem too important in teh overall scheme of life, but I envision my big toe sticking straight out sort of leading me along. LOL.

renie
December 28th, 2007, 04:45 PM
Iíve never heard about any effects of toe flexibility on kicking. Ankle flexibility is important to get the feet into a streamlined propulsive position. I would think you would be better off with stiff toe rather then flexible ones. Similar to fins, where a rigid fins are faster than flexible ones.

You're right, ankle flex is very important and when I wear fins, it keeps toes straight, so it may be beneficial in the end. Thx.

Rick
December 28th, 2007, 05:15 PM
One other thought. Lack of toe flexibility may impact the ball of your foot in terms of how you push off the wall and the additional pressure this puts (only) on your forefoot pads (and not transitioning to your toe on the pushoff). I had a similar conversation with a very good ortho guy - former swimmer - who specializes in foot & ankle care. May not be a problem for you, but something to consider!

renie
December 28th, 2007, 06:14 PM
One other thought. Lack of toe flexibility may impact the ball of your foot in terms of how you push off the wall and the additional pressure this puts (only) on your forefoot pads (and not transitioning to your toe on the pushoff). I had a similar conversation with a very good ortho guy - former swimmer - who specializes in foot & ankle care. May not be a problem for you, but something to consider!

Hmmm, did your ortho friend say it was a problem?

Rick
December 28th, 2007, 11:37 PM
Seems to be a problem if you lose some of the fat (padding) in the forefoot region (can happen, apparently, as you get older - at least true in my case - I'm 63). Then, not enought cushion (particularly if you have limited flexibility and can't use full range of forefoot-toe pushoff) and pain starts to build up in the forefoot area from continual pushing off of the wall only with the ball of your foot.

renie
December 29th, 2007, 09:20 PM
Seems to be a problem if you lose some of the fat (padding) in the forefoot region (can happen, apparently, as you get older - at least true in my case - I'm 63). Then, not enought cushion (particularly if you have limited flexibility and can't use full range of forefoot-toe pushoff) and pain starts to build up in the forefoot area from continual pushing off of the wall only with the ball of your foot.

Yes, I noticed that - pain under the foot lately from spin class -- too much weight and pressure put on one area of the foot. Thanks for the info.