Toe Injuries and Disorders

Everyone has experienced a small toe, foot, or ankle injury that resulted in discomfort or swelling at some point in their lives. The majority of the time, our bodily movements do not create difficulties, but symptoms might emerge as a result of ordinary wear and tear, misuse, or an injury.

Your toes contain 14 of your feet’s 26 bones. The toes, especially the big toe, aid in movement and balance. Toes can be damaged by sports, running, stubbing your toes, and dropping something on your foot. Toes trouble can also be caused by wearing shoes that are too big or too small. Toe pain and issues can be caused by certain conditions, such as severe arthritis. The big toe is commonly affected by gout.

Toe problems are very common include

  • Corns and bunions 
  • Toenails that have grown inward
  • Sprains and dislocations are common injuries.
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Toe injuries and diseases have a variety of treatments. Shoe inserts or customized shoes, cushioning, tape, medicines, rest, and, in severe cases, surgery may be used.

The most prevalent causes of toes, foot, and ankle injuries are:

  • Sports or recreational activities are two examples.
  • Tasks connected to the job.
  • Work or home improvement projects

The majority of minor injuries heal on their own, and home care is usually all that’s required to alleviate symptoms and encourage healing.

Here are the common toe injuries and diseases.

Broken Toe

A broken toe is a common injury that is most often caused by stubbed toes or dumping something on your foot.

A fractured toe is usually treated by taping it to an adjacent toe. When you drop anything heavy on your foot or bump your toe on something hard, you’re likely to break your toe. However, if the fracture is significant — especially if it affects your big toe — you may require a cast or possibly surgery to heal properly.                  

The following are signs and symptoms of a fractured toe:

Pain

Swelling

Discoloration

Bunions

A bunion (also known as hallux valgus) is a bulge on the side of the big toe that causes discomfort. A bunion, on the other hand, is more than that. The noticeable hump is caused by changes in the front section of the foot’s bony skeleton. Instead of pointing straight ahead, the big toe bends toward the second toe. The bones are thrown out of position, resulting in the bunion’s hump.

Bunions are most commonly caused by a defective mechanical structure of the foot that is inherited. The bunion itself is not inherited; rather, certain foot types predispose a person to having a bunion.

Symptoms that appear at the bunion’s location include:

Soreness or pain

Redness and inflammation

A sweltering sensation

Numbness is a possibility.

Capsulitis of the Second Toe

Excessive force causes capsulitis in the foot, which is an inflammation of the ligaments surrounding the toe joints. The forefoot is the most important part of the body. Although capsulitis can affect the joints of the third or fourth toes, the second toe is the most usually affected. Stress is imposed on the joint at the base of the second toe as a result of improper foot mechanics. The ligaments, capsule, and fibrous support known as the plantar plate are all weakened as a result of this.

Capsulitis is caused by a severe bunion deformity, a second toe that is longer than the big toe, and structurally unstable feet, such as flat feet.

Climbing ladders and doing tasks that involve kneeling, such as gardening or working close to the ground, can stress the ligaments near the toes and cause pain. Excessive bending of the toes and joint irritation can also be caused by wearing high heels or unsupportive shoes.

For early capsulitis treatment, the foot and ankle surgeon may choose one or more of the following options:

Rest and ice. The swelling and soreness can be reduced by staying off the foot and applying cold packs. Apply an ice pack to the affected area, with a thin towel placed between the ice and the skin. Apply ice for 20 minutes, then wait at least 40 minutes before applying more.

Medications. Ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) may help alleviate pain and inflammation.

Taping/splinting. It may be essential to tape the toe in order for it to stay in place. This relieves the pain and prevents the toe from migrating farther.

Fractures of the Fifth Metatarsal

Metatarsal fractures are one of the most common injuries of the foot. There has been conflicting literature on management of fifth metatarsal fractures due to inconsistency with respect to classification of these fractures

A history of acute or recurrent trauma to the forefoot may accompany a fifth metatarsal injury. Avulsion fractures are the most common type of zone one fracture. An acute episode of forefoot supination with plantar flexion is the mechanism of these fractures. The lateral band of the plantar fascia and the peroneus brevis are pulled as a result.

Fifth Metatarsal Fracture Signs and Symptoms

Outside of the foot, pain, swelling, and soreness.

Walking is proving to be difficult.

Bruising.

Hammertoe

A muscle imbalance causes hammer toe, which puts pressure on the toe tendons and joints. To straighten and bend the toes, muscles operate in pairs. When the toes are bent in one position for an extended period of time, the muscles and joints contract and become unable to stretch.

A hammer toe can be excruciatingly painful, especially when the patient moves it or wears shoes. Other signs and symptoms could include:

Swelling or a flushed appearance

The inability to straighten your toes

Walking is difficult.

A corn or callus on the top of the toe’s middle joint or on the toe’s tip.

Surgery is required in some cases, usually when the hammertoe has become more rigid and painful, or when an open sore has occurred.

Because your feet are the foundation of your body, they must be kept in good condition. Your feet can suffer from years of wear and tear. Overuse, ill-fitting shoes, and even genetics can all contribute to foot injuries and diseases that limit mobility.

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