What are Overlapping Toes?
Overlapping toes is a condition that can be present at birth (congenital) or in develops later on in life. The condition may affect the patient by being nothing more than unsightly and a slight inconvenience when selecting shoes, all the way up to very painful in most shoes.
Diabetics, those with poor circulation and individuals with nerve impairment are at greater risk with this type of foot structure. Because of the friction and pressure points that are created with toes that do not line up straight.
Hammertoe And Bunion Deformity
In cases overlapping and underlapping toes may be a result of a hammertoe deformity or a bunion deformity.
In severe bunion deformities, as the big toe moves toward the second toe, the big toe may either go under the second toe, usually forcing the second toe to become a hammertoe. Other times the big toe may deviate over the second toe, forcing the second toe into the ground as the patient walks, usually creating pain in the second toe. In either situation the second toe may become painful even though there is no pain in the bunion joint. From a strictly surgical standpoint, many times it is necessary to correct the non-painful bunion deformity along with the second toe in order to bring about relief. There are however, instances where only the second toe requires surgical correction and the bunion may be left alone. In these cases the bunion deformity is mild and only putting marginal pressure on the second toe.
As toes become more arthritic they start to change shape and in turn no longer line up properly. Compounding this is the formation of bone spurs that may be present on each toe. If two of these bone spurs happen to press against each other they create excessive pressure points which can lead to corns or even bursitis. In the case of a poorly controlled diabetic, or an individual with inadequate circulation or diminished neurological sensation, the excess pressure point can cause the tissue to break down, become infected, or ulcerated creating a serious medical problem.
Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can exacerbate this problem and grossly deform the appearance of the toes.
Some people have an inherited tendency to develop overlapping toes. The commonly observed incidence is an overlapping fifth toe which bends over the fourth toe. This can occur on one or both feet. In most cases it is more annoying than anything else. There are cases where it can become a problem as a person ages. In women, the ability to wear a high style dress shoe may be hampered by the overlapping fifth toe. Because of the tightness of the space between the fourth and fifth toes, some people will develop chronic athletes foot, due to the dark constantly moist environment that is created between the two toes. When a congenital overlapping fifth toe becomes a problem that is not alleviated by shoe selection or padding, it can be surgically corrected.
Do you have a concern about your overlapping toe,we can help. If you are experiencing pain or noticing a change in your feet you should seek medical care right away. Early care can help prevent the condition from worsening. Contact Podiatry Group of Georgia today to schedule your appointment or book you appointment online.