Problems With Toes

We don't think about our toes very often - that is, until they don't perform as designed. Our toes assist us with very specific actions when walking, running, and weight bearing. They're also critical in helping us maintain our balance.

pain in toes, problems with toes

The toe bones extend from the ends of the metatarsal bones (the long bones in the foot) and each toe contains joints, bones, tendons, blood vessels, nerves, and muscles designed to perform very specific movements. When one toe doesn't work, the rest of the toes, foot, and ankle compensate, potentially throwing off balance, thrust (when running), and gait pattern (the way you walk). When this compensation occurs, the effects may be felt throughout your entire body, including your knees, back, shoulders and neck.

Crossover Toes, Overlapping Toes, Underlapping Toes

Crossover toe is a condition in which the second toe drifts toward the big toe and eventually crosses over and lies on top of the big toe. It can occur at any age, but is most often seen in adults.

Overlapping toes are a deformity characterized by one toe lying on top of an adjacent toe. The fifth toe (smallest) is the most commonly affected, but it also appears in the second toe.

Underlapping toes is a deformity which involves the fourth and fifth toes. It may occur at any age and is thought to be caused by an inherited trait in the structure of the foot.

Read about symptoms and treatment of crossover toe, overlapping toe, and underlapping toe

Hallux Limitus, Hallux Rigidus

Hallux Limitus and Hallux Rigidus is a progressive arthritic process which occurs within the cartilage of the bones that create the big toe joint. It results in loss of motion and stiffness in the big toe.

Read about symptoms and treatment of Hallux Limitus and Hallux Rigidus


Hammertoe is a deformity of the second, third, or fourth toes. The toe becomes bent at the middle joint, into an upward position, resembling a hammer. Hammertoes can become very inflexible and require surgery.

Read about symptoms and treatment of Hammertoes

Ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenails are nails whose corners or sides dig painfully into the soft tissue of the nail grooves, leading to irritation, redness, and swelling.

Read about symptoms and treatment of Ingrown Toenails

Morton's Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma is a painful condition affecting the ball of the foot, the result of an injury to the nerve between the third and fourth toes.

Read about symptoms and treatment of Morton's Neuroma

Toe Fractures

A fracture is a break in the bone. Fractures of the toe and metatarsal bones are common and require evaluation by a specialist. A foot and ankle surgeon should be seen for proper diagnosis and treatment, even if initial treatment has been received in an emergency room.

Read about symptoms and treatment of toe fractures

Toenail Fungus

A toenail infected with nail fungus may begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. As it spreads deeper into the nail, it may cause discoloration, thickening, and crumbling edges.

Read about symptoms and treatments of toenail fungus

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