What is Morton’s Toe?
Morton’s Toe is a condition where the second toe is longer than the big toe. It’s named after American orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dudley J. Morton, who first described the condition in the 1920s. It is also known as a “Greek Foot” or “Egyptian Foot,” due to the high prevalence of this foot shape among ancient Greek and Egyptian sculptures.
This condition is often seen as a cosmetic issue but also causes foot problems such as pain and calluses, especially if the person is wearing shoes that are too small or not appropriately designed for the feet.
In some cases, Morton’s Toe can also lead to other conditions such as hammertoes, bunions, and other foot problems. If you are experiencing foot pain or discomfort, it is recommended that you see a doctor or podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Symptoms of Morton’s Toe
Morton’s toe is a condition in which the second toe is longer than the big toe. The most prominent symptoms associated with Morton’s toe include pain in the ball of the foot, calluses or corns on the second toe, and difficulty finding comfortable shoes. In some cases, the condition may also cause pain in the foot’s arches and can lead to other foot problems such as plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms of Morton’s toe vary, however, and some of the most noticeable symptoms of Morton’s Toe include
- Pain or discomfort when wearing shoes, especially shoes that are too tight or do not provide enough room for the toes.
- Discomfort or pain when walking, running, or standing for long periods.
- Changes in the way you walk, such as limping or favoring one foot over the other.
- Swelling or redness in the affected area.
Potential Negative Impacts of Untreated Morton’s Toe
Treating Morton’s Toe early can prevent the development of further complications.
- Foot pain: The unequal distribution of weight on the feet can lead to pain in the ball of the foot, especially near the second toe.
- Calluses and corns: Constant pressure and friction on the second toe can lead to the development of calluses and corns, which can be painful and unsightly.
- Hammertoes: Morton’s Toe can also lead to the development of hammertoes, where the second toe becomes bent and rigid, leading to pain and difficulty when walking.
- Bunions: The big toe may begin to deviate towards the second toe, leading to the development of bunions.
- Lower back pain: Changes in gait and posture due to Morton’s toe can lead to lower back pain and discomfort.
- Arthritis: The unequal distribution of weight on the feet can put stress on the joints, leading to the development of arthritis.
- Plantar fasciitis: The foot’s arch may become strained, leading to plantar fasciitis, a condition characterized by pain and inflammation in the heel.
How Can I Help My Morton’s Toe?
Custom orthotics can help treat Morton’s Toe by redistributing weight and relieving pressure on the second toe. These inserts are specifically designed to fit the unique shape of your feet and provide support where it is needed. They can help realign the bones in the foot, correct misalignments, and reduce the stress on the second toe.
That said, the pressure on the second toe is reduced by redistributing weight evenly across the foot. By reducing tension and realigning the bones in the foot, custom orthotics can help to relieve pain and discomfort associated with Morton’s Toe. Consequentially, with pressure reduction, custom orthotics can help prevent the development of associated conditions such as hammertoes, bunions, and arthritis.
A few other treatment options include stretching and physical therapy, over-the-counter medications, and in severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to correct the length of the bones on the second toe.
How Metatarsal Pads Help Morton’s Toe
Metatarsal pads are small cushioning devices placed in the shoes to provide support and relieve pressure on the ball of the foot. They are typically made of foam, gel, or other soft materials and are designed to be placed inside the shoe, directly under the ball of the foot.
The purpose of metatarsal pads is to redistribute weight and reduce pressure on the ball of the foot, especially on the second toe, which can help to relieve pain and discomfort associated with conditions such as Morton’s Toe, plantar fasciitis, and other foot conditions. They can also help to prevent the development of calluses, corns, and other foot problems associated with high-pressure areas on the feet.
Metatarsal pads are a commonly used non-invasive treatment for foot pain and discomfort, and they can be easily purchased over the counter or customized by a podiatrist for a better fit. However, it’s important to see a doctor or podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, as they can determine if metatarsal pads are appropriate for your individual needs and make any necessary adjustments for the best fit.
When to See a Doctor for Morton’s Toe
It is recommended to see a doctor or podiatrist if you suspect you have Morton’s Toe. Although Morton’s Toe is not a serious condition, it can cause pain and discomfort and lead to developing other foot problems if left untreated.
A doctor or podiatrist can perform a physical examination, take X-rays, and evaluate your gait to diagnose Morton’s Toe. They can also determine the cause of your symptoms and recommend the most appropriate treatment options for your individual needs.
In some cases, conservative treatments such as custom orthotics, metatarsal pads, and proper shoe selection may be enough to manage symptoms. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying issue.
By seeking medical attention, you can receive an accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan that can help to manage your symptoms and prevent the development of associated conditions.
Where to Find Treatment for Your Morton’s Toe
It is suggested to see a healthcare physician if the pain from your Morton’s Toe is severe, but many doctors will tell you custom orthotics are one of the best treatments for your Morton’s Toe.
The URthotics team has over 25 years of experience making custom orthotics, so they can provide you with the pain relief you deserve. Prompt treatment for your Morton’s Toe is best, so give us a call or leave your information and let us get started on your custom orthotics today, met pads included.