Morton's toe is a disorder of the foot in which the second toe is longer than the big toe. Also commonly called Morton's foot, this disorder can cause pain and discomfort, and can lead to other foot problems. Fortunately, the condition can often be treated with orthotics, devices such as shoe inserts that give the foot support. Choosing the right shoes can also help alleviate the pain associated with Morton's toe, and may actually help correct the problem.
The second toe of a patient with Morton's toe may not appear to stick out further than the big toe, but he or she actually has a longer second metatarsal, the bone inside the foot. Curling the toes downward will allow the person to better see where the metatarsals end because the bones will push upward against the skin, causing a row of bumps to appear just behind the toes. If the second metatarsal extends past the first, the patient has this condition.
Other symptoms of Morton's toe include thick calluses on the bottom of the foot located just behind the second toe and on the inside and outside of the foot right where the toes connect. A patient with this disorder may also have flat feet. Pronation, the tendency of the ankle to roll toward the inside of the foot, can also occur.
Patients experiencing Morton's toe can often find relief by treating the symptoms and by using orthotics and proper shoes. Arch supports and padded insoles can help correct the poor foot posture associated with the condition. Patients should make sure that their shoes fit comfortably, and do not squeeze or pinch the toes. Shoes without enough room can cause pain and discomfort, so patients may want to buy slightly larger shoes to help relieve the problem.
The calluses commonly caused by Morton's toe can be treated by soaking the foot in warm water and using a gentle scrubbing motion with a foot scrub or pumice stone. Patients should be careful not to scrub too hard and damage the skin. If a patient with this condition experiences severe pain, or if the symptoms are not relieved by the use of orthotics and proper footwear, he or she may need to see a medical professional for further help.