Lesser Toe Deformities
Apart from the big toe, the other toes are known as the lesser toes. The lesser toes can suffer from many problems which may lead to the toes changing shape. When the lesser toes don't function properly or are positioned abnormally then problems will follow. The lesser toes are made up of two joints. These joints are known as interphalangeal joints. Compared to the lesser toes, the big toe only has one joint. The joints of the lesser toes should be straight when weight is put onto them. However this is not always the case, wearing shoes that are too tight or the wrong size can affect the structure of the toes. There are many contributing factors that lead to lesser toe deformities.
Hammer toes are the most common type of lesser toe deformities. It is usually the second toe that suffers from this even though the other toes can also be affected. The first interphalangeal joint is usually flexed, this leaves it raised thus leaving it open to being irritated when wearing shoes. Another common type of lesser toe deformity is adducto varus deformity. This affects the little toe, even though the other lesser toes can be affected. Those suffering from adducto varus may notice the little toe move under the fourth toe or it may bend to the side.
Lesser toe deformities are very common. Not all lesser toe deformities are a problem. Any age can suffer from this condition but generally it is more common as you age.
If you suspect you are suffering from a lesser toe deformity then we advise you to seek help from a Registered Podiatrist. There are treatments to reduce pain from calluses and corns on the lesser toes but addressing lesser toe issues can usually only be done through surgery.
If you suffer from lesser toe deformities then wearing the right kind of shoes is vital. Shoes must be wide enough and the toe box should be high enough to not rub onto the lesser toes. Unfortunately shoes are not made to look like our feet. Forcing them into shoes is what leads to problems. Trainers and shoes with laces are ideal as they are comfortable and hold your feet in place, stopping them from moving forward. Bespoke or orthopaedic footwear can be used for those suffering from a severe form of lesser toe deformity.
When you go to see a podiatrist, a full assessment will be carried out and you will be advised on the best treatment for you. Other than the lesser toe deformity there may be other issues which the podiatrist will address.
A biomechanical assessment including a gait scan can be part of the assessment. Biomechanical therapies will not fix the problem but will stop it from progressing. Special orthotics may be prescribed to be worn in the shoes.