Toe Joint and Nerve Disorders
We get it. Misshapen toes can be embarrassing to look at and can cause a lot of aggravation. Toe joint and nerve disorders can cause extreme pain.
Please let Bay Area Foot & Laser Podiatry Group help you focus less on your toes and more on living your life. During your visit, Dr. Huey examines the condition of your toes, listens to how it’s impacting your daily life, and comes up with a treatment plan that’s best for you.
Bunion (Hallux Valgus)
If a bony bump has formed next to the base of your big toe, then it’s likely a bunion. When this bunion forms, it pushes the big toe inward (against the next toe) causing pain and stiffness. Shoes that are tight in the toes can irritate it, too. Unfortunately, bunions don’t go away and will progressively get worse.
Bunionette (Tailor’s Bunion)
If a bony bump has formed next to the base of your little toe, then it’s likely a Tailor’s Bunion. When this bunionette forms, it pushes the little toe inward (against the next toe) causing pain and stiffness. Plus, wearing shoes that crowd your toes can aggravate it.
Do any of your small toes resemble a claw? The characteristic of a claw toe is an abnormal bending of all three joints. Instead of pointing outward, your toe stays curled at these joints. You can experience pain, redness, and swelling because of it. Corns can form on top of the joints, and calluses on the ball of your foot, due to constant pressure and rubbing from your shoes.
Imagine the head of a hammer. Now look at the toe. Does it resemble it? The characteristic of a hammertoe is a bent joint at the middle of your toe. Instead of pointing outward, your toe stays curled down at that joint resembling an upside-down V. This deformity can happen with any one of the small toes and is usually caused by wearing high heels or shoes that crowd the toes. Look out for pain, redness, and swelling as well as corns and calluses.
Do you have a toe that just doesn’t want to touch the ground? This happens when the tendon on top of your foot that usually allows the toe to extend, pulls it back instead.
Do you have toes that are significantly shorter than the others? Even though Brachymetatarsia (shortened toes) can affect any of your toes, we see it most often on the fourth toes of both feet. The condition occurs when the growth plate of the metatarsal bone doesn’t develop fully or closes prematurely. With surgery, it’s possible to gradually lengthen these toes.
The characteristic of this rare condition is when toes are joined by a bridge of skin. Known as Syndactyly, this birth abnormality can occur in any of the toes but is most often seen between the second and third ones.
Morton's Neuroma (Intermetatarsal Neuroma)
When a nerve injury occurs from pressure or irritation, the tissue surrounding it starts to grow, build up in thickness, and bring on a lot of pain especially when you walk. This neuroma is also often referred to as a pinched nerve or a benign nerve tumor.
Most commonly, you’ll experience pain in the ball of your foot between your third and fourth toes, between the metatarsal bones. We often hear it described as walking with what feels like a pebble in the shoe or a folded or bunched-up sock. Some other telling signs include finding immediate relief when you stop walking, or when you take off your shoe to rub the pain away. Other sensations include feeling pain in the front of your foot, pain and swelling in between your toes, and numbness and tingling in the ball of your foot.
To learn more, check out this American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons overview on Morton’s Neuroma.