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By: Robert H. Sheinberg, D.P.M., D.A.B.F.A.S., F.A.C.F.A.S.


  • Drifting of the second toe towards the big toe, causing pain, deformity and early development of an overlapping second toe over the big toe.


  • Trauma to the second toe joint causing inflammation in that region.
  • Inflammation of the nerves on the ball of the foot (neuroma).
  • Long second toe or second metatarsal, causing a hammertoe and excess stress on the ball of the foot.
  • Weakness or tearing of the ligament holding the second toe straight.
  • Pressure on the second toe from a bunion deformity.
  • Pressure on the second toe due to a crooked big toe (hallux deformity).


  • Visible space between second and third toe while weight-bearing.
  • Pain to the second toe that increases with walking.
  • Difficulty walking barefoot and unable to wear heels.
  • Drifting of the second toe towards or over the first toe (overlapping toe).
  • Hammertoe of the second toe.
  • Neuritis (inflamed nerve causing numbness, burning and tingling).
  • Associated with bunion deformity and/or crooked big toe.
  • Swelling of the second toe and/or ball of the foot.
  • Callus (hard skin) on the ball of the foot.


  • Anti-inflammatories to decrease inflammation and stiff-soled shoes to prevent toe bending.
  • Taping of the toes to lessen the pain and deformity.
  • Surgery to realign the joint and possibly remove the nerve to achieve full recovery.


  • Excellent with regard to eliminating the pain and deformity. The earlier the treatment, the better the long-term prognosis.