Lesser toe problems

The four smaller toes can cause you trouble in a number of ways. Most commonly this is due to the formation of a deformity of one or more of the toes. Many names are given to these deformities such as hammer toe, claw toe or hammer toe.


The misshapen toe itself may not cause you any pain normally but may be uncomfortable when wearing shoes due to rubbing against the top of the shoe. On occasion this can lead to a break in the skin and bleeding or even infection.


Some people experience more discomfort on the sole of their foot due to the ‘knuckle’ of the joint being pushed downwards. This may feel like you constantly have a stone in your shoe when walking.


If you have a bunion, your big toe can start to push the toe next to it upwards. In these situations even if your bunion is not in itself sore, we sometimes recommend treating the bunion in order to allow us to address the 2nd toe problem.


The first line treatment is to make sure that your shoes are well fitting and have enough space around the toes to stop them from rubbing. Some people benefit from review by a podiatrist to see if insoles or other devices can be used to alleviate pressure.


Surgery can be used to ‘straighten’ your toe and is used as a way of stopping discomfort as oppose to being used for cosmetic reasons. Usually one of the joints of the toe needs to be stiffened (fused) in order for the toe to remain straight. A metal wire is used in order to splint the toe for around 6 weeks post surgery and protrudes from the end of the toe. A post operative sandal is used for this time to protect the toe when you are walking.

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John Charnley Wing 

Wrightington Hospital,

Hall Lane,

Appley Bridge,




Clinic Times

Monday 1pm-5pm