Do you have a second toe that is longer than your big toe? If so, you have Morton’s toe, a common forefoot variation that’s found in up to 20% of the population. This disorder is also known as “Greek toe,” since the ancient Greeks considered a longer second toe to be a sign of beauty. You can see examples of Morton’s toe in many classic Greek sculptures. Frédéric Bartholdi even depicted the disorder in his famous sculpture given to the United States from the people of France – the Statue of Liberty.
Morton’s toe is named after Dudley Morton, an American orthopedic surgeon in the 1930s, who first described this hereditary condition. With Morton’s toe, the first metatarsal (the big toe) is congenitally shorter in length in comparison to the second metatarsal (the second toe). Also, the space between the first and second toes appears to be deeper than the space between the second and third toes.
- Pain and tenderness in the area between the base of the big toe and second toe in the midfoot to the second metatarsal head in the ball of the foot. This pain and tenderness is due to the constant pressure placed on the second toe when walking and standing.
- Callusing on the bottom of the foot at the second and third metatarsal heads.
- Bruising of the toenail due to shoes that don’t accommodate the longer second toe.
Morton’s toe also causes mechanical dysfunction of the foot which leads to changes in your posture and the way you walk and run. These changes can result in a variety of other problems including bunions, metatarsalgia, metatarsal stress fractures, and pain of the ankles, shins, knees, back, shoulder, and neck.
Proper treatment of Morton’s toe includes:
- Selecting footwear with a wider toe box. Also you may need to buy footwear that’s a half size larger to accommodate your longer second toe and keep it from pressing against the shoe. Also, make sure your shoes fit properly. Refer to our Shoe Fitting Guide for more information.
- Wearing a metatarsal pad under the first metatarsal to reduce stress on the ball of your foot.
- Wearing custom orthotics, like ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotics, that redirect the loading force of the foot onto the big toe joint for a proper biomechanical step. It may be necessary to use a Morton’s toe extender to achieve complete redistribution of weight to the big toe. A Morton’s toe extender is a firm, lightweight plate added to the ezWalker® Custom Orthotic to give more loading power to the big toe. This redirection of loading force to the big toe will reduce pressure to your second toe, giving you pain relief.
- Possible surgery, in severe cases, to make the big and second toes more equal in length and to restore the proper alignment of your foot.
With simple steps, you can reduce the pain and discomfort of Morton’s toe.
For more information about ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotics, visit our website. ezWalker® Custom Orthotics are ultra thin and ¾ length to fit most shoes. Plus they come with a 100%, money-back guarantee. So all you have to lose is your pain. Order your ezWalker® Custom Orthotics today.
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®
Note: If you follow these guidelines and your pain persists, you should see a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment. If Morton’s toe pain is left untreated, it can lead to a serious breakdown of the joint structure, leading to a lack of mobility and arthritis conditions.