Remember the child’s game of “This Little Piggy”? The first one went to market, one stayed home, one was fortunate to eat , one did not, but the last one said and I quote “wee,wee,wee” all the way home. And, as shown by a popular car insurance ad, one would assume that little piggy was having a great time. Unfortunately, the reality is that little piggy, our fifth or smallest toe, is the one who more frequently could be quoted as saying “wah,wah’wah” all the way home.
Our little toe is the one most frequently associated with pain. This can be from shoes or trauma. Many shoe styles are fashion shaped, not foot shaped, and curve at just the right (or wrong) location, increasing pressure on this toe. Not infrequently, an improperly fitted shoe can cause the formation of a corn, which is a hard growth of skin, and even can cause inflammation of the delicate tissues at the joint, called bursitis.
The little toe is also the most frequently broken toe. It is the one caught on the carpet or on the edge of a door, and seems to have a unique talent for finding the legs of furniture, especially in the dark.
So what to do? First and foremost are properly fitted shoes. Make sure shoes have both adequate length and width for some “wiggle room”. Also, try to stay away from shoes that have seams over the toes or side of the toes, as these are areas of increased pressure.
For a broken toe: first rest, ice and elevate as with any foot or ankle injury. Then have it checked by your podiatrist. The idea that “it’s just a broken toe” is not the correct one, and there may be a fracture through the joint and/or significant displacement, and you don’t want the toe to heal pointing in the wrong direction – causing more issues later.
For more information on those ”Little Piggies” or any other foot or ankle issue, please contact us today. You can call the Hillsboro office at (503) 648-1713, the Newberg office at (503) 538-0466 or the Beaverton office at (503) 292-9252, and our friendly staff is here to assist you. You can also visit our Appointment Request page to schedule an appointment.
K.G Gauntt, DPM