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California Foot & Ankle Institute

Do You Need Surgery for Overlapping Toes?

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If you or your child has overlapping toes, the potential pain of those toes rubbing against the tops of shoes can make any nice walk something to hesitate over. That’s a pity, because our area has plenty of beauty to explore at the end of nature trails; you wouldn’t want to miss out on events like Waterfall Wednesdays, run by the Naturalist for You website all through August!

Unfortunately, conservative methods of treating overlapping toes—such as stretching, taping, and binding—only have a real chance of working when the condition is caught very early in age, and even then the odds are not so great that these treatments will have a significant effect.  We will still certainly try conservative methods when the possibility of effectiveness is there, but many times surgery will become the best option to correct the toes.

Surgery to correct overlapping most often involves cutting the tendon and soft tissues that surround the joint at the base of the shifted toe. A skin plasty might also be needed as tissue around the toes tends to contract. When it comes to more severe cases of overlapping, a pin may need to be inserted into the toe to hold it in the correct position. This pin is usually removed within three weeks, but a splint will need to be worn as the toe continues to heal.

Just because someone has overlapping toes doesn’t necessarily mean that they need surgery. It is possible to have grown up with a milder form of the condition and have adjusted to it well. In these cases, wearing shoes with roomy toe boxes or the use of orthotics can make living with overlapping toes perfectly manageable.

The doctors at California Foot and Ankle Institute are ready to provide expert advice when it comes to your options for overlapped toes. Schedule an appointment by dialing (949) 833-3406 for our Irvine office or (760) 951-2000 for our office in Victorville. We can also be reached toll-free at (888) 796-6631.
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