15 Jul What Causes Toes to Overlap?
Do You Have Overlapping Toes?
Do you have toes that overlap? In earlier times, they might have been considered an evil omen or a sign of good luck. In today’s medical term, you have a condition called clinodactyly.
Overlapping toes generally affect the smallest toe on your foot. In some people, it’s the second toe that overlaps. Should you worry about your overlapping toes? We’ll look in detail at what causes this condition and what you can do to correct it.
What Causes Overlapping Toes?
Medical researchers are not certain what causes this condition. It affects a small segment of the population. About 10% of people have some form of the condition, but the diagnosis includes people with curled toes and overlapping fingers.
These are the most likely causes.
Heredity. The condition seems to run in families. It’s a congenital condition that most people don’t outgrow.
Muscular or tendon weakness. Weak muscles or ligaments in your joints can lead to various conditions including bunions and hammertoes. If you have one of these conditions, that same muscle or joint weakness can cause your toes to overlap.
When to See a Podiatrist
Some babies are born with toes that look like they’re overlapping. Babies’ feet are flexible, and in some cases, these toes end up growing straighter.
In some cases, that doesn’t happen. The overlapping toes become fixed as the baby’s feet develop and get more rigid.
You should always have your child’s feet checked out by a foot care specialist if they’re overlapping, twisted or unusual in any way. A podiatrist can tell you whether it’s time to start treatment or just let your baby’s foot grow for a while.
Can You Live with Overlapping Toes?
Overlapping toes don’t get in your way too much if you’re a child. They’re not painful, and the toes don’t stop most kids from running or playing.
As you get older, your overlapping toes cause more problems.
- They make most shoes uncomfortable to wear.
- You might feel embarrassed to wear sandals or open-toed shoes.
- They make walking painful.
- They’re often accompanied by other foot conditions.
If you’re experiencing these or any other problems related to your toes, contact a podiatrist to discuss treatment options.
What Are the Treatments for Overlapping Toes?
There are three options to straighten out your toes. A foot care specialist can help you choose the right one.
Treatment for Underlying Conditions
If your overlapping toes are caused by bunions or hammertoes, treatment for those conditions will correct the problem. The treatment generally includes:
- Stretching exercises.
- Custom orthotics.
- Change in footwear.
Nonsurgical treatments for overlapping toes generally work best on young children. Once you’re an adult, it may take longer for these treatments to work. They are worth a try, however, if you want to avoid surgery. This treatment plan includes;
- Soft binding to encourage the toe to straighten.
- Stretching exercises.
- Custom orthotics to correct toe alignment and protect the toes.
- Night splinting.
Surgery for overlapping toes is a safe, quick procedure that can be done right in your podiatrist’s office. You will have to stay off your feet for about three weeks. This is the fastest way to correct the problem.
We Take Care of Toe Troubles
If you’re concerned about your or your child’s overlapping toes, it’s important to know that this condition is quick and easy to fix. Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine is Loudoun County’s favorite place to fix toe and foot troubles of all kinds.