Guy Who Wears Socks While Swimming Gets Surgery For Curled ‘Alligator Feet’

by : Lucy Connolly on : 13 May 2020 15:13


A man who has been living with ‘alligator feet’ since he was 10 years old and wore socks while swimming just to hide them has finally received the life-changing surgery he’s been waiting for.

Jefferson has suffered with mallet toe – a deformity of one of the foot joints that causes a bend in the toes – since he was a child, and admits the condition has caused him pain and embarrassment throughout his life.


An enthusiastic swimmer, Jefferson never enters a pool without his socks, something he says he’s been doing ‘ever since [he] was a little kid’ to prevent others from seeing what his feet look like.

jefferson man with alligator feetQuest Red

Jefferson recently appeared on an episode of My Feet Are Killing Me, where Dr Brad Schaeffer, a Jersey-based podiatrist, told him he had one of the worst cases of mallet toe he’d ever seen.

‘From this angle I can’t even see the front of your toes,’ the doctor said. ‘His toes basically look like he was walking on amputations, I mean that’s how curled up they were. It’s pretty shocking.’


But Jefferson’s toes weren’t the only problem, with Dr Shaeffer noting that the overall condition of his feet was extremely poor. ‘He had athletes foot all over his feet, he had maceration in-between each toe, basically like if you go into a pool for too long. He had that times 10,’ he observed.

man with alligator feetQuest Red

Jefferson spoke openly about his dislike for his feet, describing them as a ‘mess’ and stating: ‘They’re ugly, they’re dry, they’re all over just bad.’

Even his girlfriend, LaShai, admitted that she now understands why he is self-conscious about his feet, with Jefferson initially refusing to show her his feet until she fell in love with him. ‘I completely understand why,’ she said. ‘Jefferson’s feet look kind of like alligator feet.’


Although his feet are a source of embarrassment for Jefferson, that isn’t the only problem that’s arisen from the condition; his mallet toes are also incredibly painful to stand on and make walking difficult.

He explained:

I’m walking on my toe nails because my middle toes all curl over, so the nail curls over with them. If you try to pull it up and cut it then it bleeds sometimes. It’s so painful that I just leave them.

man's painful alligator toesQuest Red

The only hope of correcting Jefferson’s toes was through surgery, with Dr Shaeffer slicing into the curl of the toes and slowly resetting them.

After dissecting down to the bone, the podiatrist removed the head of the bones in each of the toes before making an incision in the flexor tendon and placing metal pins in Jefferson’s toes, allowing them to straighten out.

Six weeks later and during a long road to recovery, Jefferson attended Dr Shaeffer’s office for his follow-up appointment – with straight toes. ‘I was just super happy about the result,’ the doctor said.

mallet toes surgeryQuest Red

Jefferson was also delighted and plans to get back into the pool as soon as possible – this time without his socks.

My Feet Are Killing Me airs at 10pm on Tuesdays exclusively on Quest Red and dplay.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Film and TV, Health, Life, TV