Did you know that 14 of the 26 bones in your feet are in your toes?
That’s important to know because your toes (especially your big toe) play key roles in movement and balance. You might not think about this terribly often, but without those valuable digits, you wouldn’t be able to go on your morning jogs or stand in line at the grocery store.
As vital as they are for your general ability to go from here to there, many things can potentially damage your toes. From playing sports to dropping something on your foot to wearing ill-fitting footwear, your toes are always at a high risk of being injured.
Sometimes, even factors like genetics and diseases make you more susceptible to developing toe problems. For instance, if your parents and grandparents had bunions, then you are likely to develop them as well. And if you are living with diabetes, your risk of toe amputation is elevated.
Unfortunately, the reality is that forgetting about our toes is easy. Most of the time they stay tucked away in socks and shoes – out of sight, out of mind. But even though most of us don’t usually give a second thought to how important our toes are, taking care of our feet and ankles (including our toes) should be one of our top priorities.
And if you’ve ever had toe pain, you know it can keep you off your feet and up at night. You might even be wondering what is wrong and if there is anything you can do to find some much-needed relief for your symptoms.
Well, Dr. Bruce Scudday can help answer both of those questions – he has the best experience, knowledge, and tools available to diagnose and treat whatever condition may be affecting your toe(s), so you don’t have to learn how to live with that swelling, pain, or deformity!
Instead, use our helpful quiz to get an idea of what might actually be wrong with your toes and then bring your results to one of our El Paso offices.
Take Our Quiz to Find Out
Let’s take some of your symptoms into consideration. Answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions and keep note of the ones you recognize in your own feet:
- Corns or calluses on top of the foot.
- Pain when toe is lifted and/or when walking.
- Redness or soreness around any part of a toe.
- Swelling and inflammation of a toe and/or joint.
- Inability to bend a toe upward or downward, stiffness.
- Formation of a bump on or around a toe joint.
- Warmth and tenderness around any area.
- Permanent downward bending of the toe(s).
- Swelling that has a quick onset (within 24 hours).
- Swelling that is gradual, with a bump developing over several weeks or months.
Once you have noted your symptoms, we can start having a better idea of what the actual underlying problem might be. Got them down? Let’s take a look at the results.
The Results Are In
Now that you are aware of your general symptoms, compare them to the common toe conditions listed below:
If you answered “yes” to experiencing swelling, redness or soreness on the side of your big toe joint, as well as having gradually developed a possible bump in that area which is causing you to have restricted movement and even pain, then the likely culprit is a bunion.
A bunion is essentially a bony lump that forms at the base of the big toe as it shifts toward its neighboring, smaller toes.
Now, if you responded “yes” to experiencing swelling and stiffness of the toe, difficulty bending it up or down, as well as pain when walking and development of calluses on the top of the foot, then you are probably looking at a condition called hallux rigidus.
A hallux rigidus can be explained in simple terms as a stiff big toe. This condition is often caused by the development of an overgrowth on top of the bone which can prevent the toe from bending properly to allow comfortable movement.
On the other hand, you may have said “yes” to experiencing a sudden inflammation on the side of your big toe (or around other toes) in the last 24 hours, as well as pain, limited range of motion, tenderness, and warmth in the affected area. And these symptoms are a good indication that you may have developed gout.
Gout is a common and complex form of arthritis that can potentially affect most people. This condition may come and go sporadically, and commonly results in intense pain. It is caused by urate crystals accumulating in the joint.
Hammertoes and mallet toes
If you said “yes” to experiencing a permanent downward bending of the toe(s), accompanied by the formation of a bump on the affected area causing redness, inflammation, and inability to bend toe(s) upward, then you may have developed a hammertoe(s) or mallet toe(s).
These conditions are similar in nature in the sense that both have the same downward bending effect on the toes. However, hammertoes will produce this abnormal bend in the middle toe joint, while mallet toes will develop this bend in the joint nearest to the nail.
Now, you should keep in mind that this quiz is not intended as a professional diagnosis tool for toe conditions. Though you may now have an overall idea of what may be the problem, only an expert podiatrist can accurately diagnose your specific condition and provide appropriate care.
So if your toes are causing you any concerns, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Scudday.
Find Expert Foot Care for All Toe Conditions
When you come visit our office, we will perform a thorough evaluation of your ankles, feet and toes in order to identify the root cause of the problem and effectively treat the condition. Our goal is to get patients on their feet as quickly and as safely as possible, using conservative treatment methods whenever we are able (for example, a good pair of custom orthotics may be all you need)!
So what are you waiting for? Don’t delay getting help – schedule an appointment at one of our El Paso, TX offices today! Call one of our two convenient locations:
- Sierra Tower Building: (915) 533-5151
- George Dieter Drive: (915) 856-3331
Or fill out our handy request form online to have one of our trained staff members reach out to you.