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Why is my second toe longer than my Big Toe?

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Why is my second toe longer than my Big Toe?

Why is my second toe longer than my Big Toe?

Some people are born with a second toe that is longer than their big toe. This can result in pain or discomfort when wearing shoes, particularly if the toe is elevated and rubbing against the shoe. Having a second toe longer than the big toe is not uncommon. Most people are not bothered by this. However, some people do suffer a great deal from pain due to a long second toe and oftentimes have difficulty wearing shoes. Some people may also feel self conscious due to the appearance of their toes. If you have a second toe bigger that extends you may be curious about why that is and what your options may be. Fortunately, for patients at Gotham Footcare in New York City, toe shortening surgery is available. This minimally invasive procedure can shorten the longest toe to reduce pain, improve the cosmetic appearance of the foot, and increase comfort when wearing shoes.

What is the main cause of a long second toe?

Having a long second toe, also known as a Morton’s toe is not a deformity. The second metatarsal, the long bone in the foot connected to the second toe, is the longest bone in the foot. It’s natural for some people that the second toe protrudes out further than the great toe. This condition is genetically inherited and occurs in three to fifteen percent of the population.

Can a long second toe cause any foot problems?

In most cases, having a long second toe does not cause any physical, medical or complications with gait. However, some people may develop pain or have difficulty wearing shoes over time as the second toe rubs up against the inside of the shoe. Use of improper ill-fitting shoe gear for prolonged periods can result in excessive pressure on a long second toe and subsequently contribute to the development of the following conditions:

  • Morton’s Neuroma. This condition occurs when the nerves in between the metatarsal gets compressed resulting in numbness, burning or tingling sensations in the toes or the sensation of walking on a pebble.
  • Hammertoes: This condition causes the toes to curl and bend downward.
  • Corns and Calluses. Painful calluses on the tip of your second toe may develop making it difficult to walk or wear shoes.

It’s important to select the appropriate sized shoes that are long enough to comfortably accommodate the length of your second toe and have a wide toe box that also supports and cushions your toes.

Can a podiatrist help with a hammer toe?

Podiatrists are specialized Foot and Ankle surgeons who provide both conservative non-surgical and surgical treatments for a long second toe and associated conditions. Treatments include:

  • Custom Orthotics to correct gait and cushion the toes.
  • Removal of corns and calluses.
  • Surgery to shorten the toe.

How do you treat a long second toe?

Treatment of a long second toe depends on the severity of the deformity. Mild cases can be addressed with shoe modifications, prefabricated pads, custom made orthotics, and routine debridement of associated corns and calluses. A long second toe unrelieved with conservative care must be corrected with surgical intervention.

Can a podiatrist help with a long second toe?

At Gotham Footcare, our experienced board-certified podiatrist are specialized in providing both conservative non-surgical and surgical treatments for long second toes.

When do you know you need toe shortening surgery?

It's time for toe shortening surgery when conservative treatment fails to alleviate pain and suffering when walking or wearing shoes. Some people with long second toes may also have other foot conditions, such as bunions and hammer toe deformities that may exacerbate a long second toe. Your podiatrist may recommend treating all conditions for optimal results following toe shortening surgery. Avoid surgery if you suffer from poor circulation in your feet, have an active infection, or other health problems that could potentially complicate or delay healing.

What consists of toe shortening surgery?

Toe shortening surgery is normally done on an outpatient basis, so you can return home the same day of your surgery. The goal of the surgery is to shorten the toe by removing a portion of the elongated toe bone and then realigning the tendons and the joints. The procedure selection depends on the severity of each toe. If the long toe is contracted and flexible, the surgeon might only remove a portion of one of the bones in the toe. If the long toe is contracted and rigid, then a portion of the long bone is removed and then this bone is fused to the adjacent bone in the toe. Fusion is achieved by inserting either absorbable implants, titanium wires or screws.

Is toe shortening surgery covered by insurance?

Toe shortening surgery is covered by most insurance companies. Our surgical coordinator can run your benefits to confirm the coverage of your plan prior to scheduling.

How painful is toe shortening surgery?

Anti-inflammatory pain medications, icing, and elevation of your foot will keep pain to a bare minimum. You will be required to limit standing and activity post operatively as instructed by your doctor.

How long does it take to recover from toe shortening surgery?

Recovery from surgery typically takes anywhere from three to eight weeks depending on the surgical procedures. During this time you will be weight bearing in a surgical walking boot and will transition to a comfortable walking shoe afterwards. You will have your stitches removed 2 to 3 weeks post operatively.

How soon after toe shortening surgery can I drive?

You are cleared to drive after you transition into a surgical shoe.

Dr. Miguel Cunha Gotham Footcare Dr. Miguel Cunha

At Gotham Footcare in NYC, we strive at recognizing your individual needs and desired outcomes while formulating an effective and personalized treatment plan with the highest quality care available.

What sets Gotham Footcare apart from other podiatry offices is our dedication to providing you with the education you need to make well-informed decisions regarding your care. Regardless of what your foot and ankle trouble may be, at Gotham Footcare our team will work tirelessly to help you feel better. At Gotham Footcare, we help you put your best foot forward.