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Too many toes!

Have you ever felt that your foot or toes look abnormal? Maybe you even have too many toes? Does your big toe look like a giant?! If you have ever asked yourself these questions, you are not alone. Although these conditions are less common, they are things we see and are able to treat.

Some interesting conditions of the feet and toes are…

Polydactyly

This means “many toes.” People with polydactyly are born with extra toes. They have 6 or even 7 toes! The extra toes can be smaller or the same size as the ones next to it. This happens at birth and is the result of gene mutations. Having an extra toe does not mean there is “something wrong” with you. It actually happens in 1 out of every 500 live births. Most people live healthy lives and the extra toe doesn’t bother them.

Some people may not like the appearance of this extra toe and decide to have it removed. Other people will notice difficulty fitting into shoes because the toe makes their foot wider. These people will decide to have the toe removed to avoid pain and better fit in shoes. When you have an extra toe, it is possible to surgically remove it. We do this by removing the extra bone and using the remaining skin to cover the toe next to it.

Brachymetatarsia

This condition is a short toe. The most commonly affected toe is your 4th toe, or the one next to the pinky toe. This is the result of a shorter metatarsal, or the long “finger-like” bone in your foot. This condition also most commonly happens at birth, but be due to trauma as well. In order to treat this, we use a device called an external fixator. An external fixator uses pins and rods to slowly lengthen the bone. When doing this, it is important to not increase the length of the bone too quickly because this can cause damage to the arteries and nerves. When done correctly, at the end of the process, you will have a longer toe!

toes

By Raj d0509 at English Wikipedia (Self-photographed) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Macrodactyly

This condition is when your toes are larger than normal. Some people consider it a “giant toe.” Although the big toe is commonly affected, it can also happen to the little toes. When surgically correcting macrodactyly, we start with removing fat and other soft tissue. After this, it is usually necessary to remove part of the bone. In severe cases, it may be necessary to remove an entire bone. Macrodactyly is associated with other diseases, such as Neurofibromatosis.

If you have any of the above conditions or feel that any of your toes look abnormal, call Hollowbrook Foot Specialists today for an appointment at (845) 298-9074. We are serving the Hudson Valley from Wappingers Falls!

By: Samantha DelRegno D.P.M.

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