By design, our toes are different sizes. The gradual decrease in size from our big toes to our fifth toes allows for balance and even weight distribution. When we walk, we normally transfer our weight from the fifth toe to the fourth, then to the third, and so on until it reaches the big toe. Sometimes, however, one toe is abnormally shorter than its neighbors. Not only can an atypically short toe cause functional problems, it also is off-putting in appearance and a source of embarrassment.

Fortunately, people with a short toe do not need to live with the physical and psychological discomfort that comes along with it. At JAWSpodiatry, our foot and ankle specialists offer solutions that can resolve the issue, including aesthetic toe-lengthening surgery.

The Nature of the Problem

An abnormally short toe is the manifestation of brachymetatarsia, a growth disturbance of a critical toe bone called the metatarsal. The condition, which most often occurs on the fourth toe, causes the metatarsal to stop growing while the surrounding bones grow at a typical pace.

Brachymetatarsia can usually be blamed on genetics, but trauma can also play a role, especially if the growth plate of the toe suffers injury.

Short toes may sit higher on the foot than surrounding toes and cause those neighboring toes to curl under the affected toe, making shoes uncomfortable and ill-fitting. The alteration in weight distribution caused by the shorter toe can cause pressure calluses may develop on the bottom of the foot as well.

Lengthening the Toe

The podiatric surgeons at JAWSpodiatry can help patients resolve the issue of a short toe through outpatient toe-lengthening surgery that can add length to the short bone. Depending on the patient’s particular condition, we may cut the short metatarsal using a specialized instrument and then graft a piece of bone between the two ends.

Because no two feet are alike, each patient deserves individualized attention. We will propose a course of treatment tailored to your specific situation and goals

Learn More About Toe-Lengthening Surgery. Call JAWSpodiatry Today.

If you are embarrassed by or are experiencing challenges and discomfort because of a short toe, the foot and ankle specialists at JAWSpodiatry in Hollywood, Florida can help. Please contact us today at (954) 922-7333 to schedule a consultation.