What is Morton’s Toe and Do I Have One?

465px-Morton's_ToeIf your second toe is significantly longer than your big toe, you have what is termed a Morton’s toe.  Other nicknames include a Greek toe or a Royal toe.  This hereditary condition can be frustrating at times, especially in the summer months when this toe can hang off the end of an otherwise comfortable pair of sandals.  The lengths of the toes themselves are only part of the problem.  The metatarsal bones which support the toes are usually involved as well.

“Over time, a Morton’s toe can actually become painful due to excessive pressure on the second metatarsal head. This can cause pain at the second metatarsal bone, a thick callus, and even a hammer toe can result from bunching your toe into too-small shoes” explains Dr. Kathryn Egerton of the Triad Foot Center.

This condition is commonly associated with genetic disposition, so there’s not much you can do to prevent it. But don’t stress! There are a few things you can do to lessen the pain associated with Morton’s Toe. First of all, selecting proper footwear is a must. You want to make sure to select supportive footwear with a high and wide toe box (toe area). In some cases, you may have to select footwear a half-size or a whole size larger than what you normally wear to accommodate the longer second toe.

Additionally, metatarsal padding in your shoe can help alleviate the pressure you may be experiencing.  If these tips fail, be sure to see your podiatrist for treatment options.  Often a simple a custom orthotic with specialized padding to offload the prominent metatarsals is helpful because it aids in keeping the foot aligned, which reduces stress on the ball of the foot.  In severe cases, surgical options are available to even out the metatarsal bone to match the length of the first and third.  A painful long second toe can an also be addressed if you find it is causing discomfort.

If you’re experiencing pain with Morton’s Toe, contact the podiatry team at the Triad Foot Center at one of their three convenient locations in Greensboro, Burlington and Asheboro. Contact us or click here to request an appointment.

 

 

 

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