Problems of the Small Toes

Problems of the Small Toes at Boston West Hospital

Surgery for problems of the small toes aims to correct the deformity and prevent it from interfering with your daily activities if simple measures haven’t been successful.

The lesser toes can develop a number of abnormal appearances and positions including: hammer toe, mallet toe, claw toe and curly toe. Deformed small toes tend to rub on your shoes and may cause: small toe pain, metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of your foot), the skin of your toes to rub together and become raw and, difficulty finding well-fitting shoes.

Small toe problems usually happen when the pressures on the toe are stronger than their joints can resist. This can be because:

• the joints are weak -  injury or arthritis may cause the muscles that control the small toes to become unbalanced so that one set pulls harder than the others, causing the toe to bend.
• strong pressure – most often from shoes that press on the tip of your small toes as the shoe is tight or it has a high heel that tends to force your toes into the tip of your shoe. Pressure may also result from the toe (usually the second toe) being naturally longer than the others.

Problems with the small toes are often seen in people with a bunion and they may additionally suffer from bunion pain.

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