There are certain medical conditions that are too often dismissed as not being as serious, when they are actually issues that need attention. We find that this is often the case with skin and nail conditions, but another example is when toes overlap. Overlapping toes are sometimes considered to simply be a cosmetic issue, but this is not the case.
Several possible explanations exist as to why toes overlap. The most prevalent tend to be cases of toe deformities like bunions, hammertoes, mallet toes, and claw toes.
Bunions are fairly common, especially for women, and happen due to a misalignment between the bones that make up the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint of the big toe. The MTP joint is located where the toe connects to the foot. The trouble starts when the toe bone starts angling inwards, pushing the joint out of position and creating the signature bony protrusion on the inside edge of the foot. In severe cases, the big toe will drift to the point that it overlaps the second toe. The opposite (with the little toe overlapping the fourth toe) is sometimes seen in severe bunionettes.
Hammertoes, mallet toes, and claw toes develop on account of imbalances between the muscles on the tops and bottoms of toes. These conditions can be exacerbated by footwear choices, but are often caused by neurological issues.
It is important to note that all of these toe deformities tend to be progressive. This means that the condition will continue to get worse as long as it remains untreated. Conservative treatment options can alleviate symptoms and help the condition from worsening, but these deformities can only be fully corrected through the use of surgical procedures.
When toes overlap, it is important to check with a professional—like our staff at Foot Specialists of Long Island—for diagnosis and effective care. We will determine why your toes are overlapping and what can be done to correct the condition. Contact us today for additional information by calling (516) 804-9038, or schedule your appointment with our Massapequa, NY office online.
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