Your big toe serves a number of purposes for your feet and your whole body, helping you move around and stay balanced as you do. However, because a lot of stress is channeled through the big toe, it also makes it a common spot for injury. In today’s blog, we shine a light on common ailments that affect your big toe, and how to treat these conditions.
Big Toe Problems
Here’s a quick look at a number of conditions that affect the big toe, and how Dr. Silverman can help you treat the issue.
Bunions – A bunion is a bony bump that often forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. Stress and improperly fitting shoes are two factors that contribute to the onset of bunions. The sooner a bunion is diagnosed and treated, the higher the likelihood that treatment will be successful, otherwise the bunion will only continue to get worse. Changing to proper fitting shoes, taking anti-inflammatory medications, padding or taping the bunion and orthopedic shoe inserts can all help correct bunions. If conservative care techniques don’t work, a surgical procedure can remove the bump.
Ingrown Toenail – When your toenail pushes sideways into the skin instead of growing straight out, it can turn into an ingrown toenail. This can cause mild to significant pain, and is often caused by poorly fitting shoes and cutting your nails too low, causing them to grow back at an odd angle. Typically these can be resolved by soaking your feet and carefully pulling the nail to the correct location while also changing to better fitting shoes. Otherwise, a foot surgeon can easily cut the nail such that it grows back as it should.
Morton’s Neuroma – Morton’s neuroma can make it feel like you’re walking on a marble or pebble, and it’s caused by the formation of a benign tumor on a nerve in your toe. It tends to develop in runners or people who are on their feet a lot, so making sure you have a good fitting pair of shoes and custom orthotics can help prevent and treat the issue. So too can corticosteroid injections.
Toe Fractures – From stubbing your toe to dropping something heavy on your foot, it’s easy to see how a big toe fracture can occur. The good news is that oftentimes these fractures resolve on their own with rest and time, but for severe fractures, surgery may be necessary. Prevent against these injuries by wearing the right shoes for the job.
Big Toe Arthritis – One final condition that often affects older individuals is big toe arthritis. This involves degeneration of the big toe joint, which results in loss of range of motion and pain with movement. Physical therapy and orthotic inserts can help stave off further degeneration, but in order to turn back the clock on big toe arthritis, you’ll want to talk to Dr. Silverman about the Cartiva implant.
For more information on conditions that affect your big toe, or for help with an issue you’re dealing with, reach out to Silverman Ankle & Foot today.