Patient Education Term Category: Toe Problems

Turf Toe

Turf toe is a sprained joint in the big toe due to excessive upward bending. It is usually a sports injury that occurs as a result of jamming the toe suddenly or pushing off repetitively while running or jumping. Athletes who play sports on turf surfaces, such as football and soccer, are prone to turf […]

Subungal Exotosis

Subungal exostosis is a bony projection, or bone spur, that forms underneath the big toenail most often but can be any toe. It usually occurs on the big toe as a result of injury or trauma such as crushing the toe. Subungual exostoses are painful because the affected area on the outside of the big […]

In-Toeing and Out-Toeing

In-toeing is when the feet turn inward instead of pointing straight ahead when walking or running. Out-toeing is when the feet point outward instead of straight ahead when walking or running. The conditions are generally painless. Concerns from mispositioning of the feet when walking are an unsteady gait that can lead to tripping, stumbling, and […]

General Toe Deformities

Toe deformities such as hammertoes, claw toes, mallet toes, and overlapping and underlapping toes can be congenital, inherited, or develop over time as a result of an injury, recurring pressure, or degenerative disease. Deformities to toe joints can cause pain and impaired function. Individuals with foot and toe structure abnormalities, such as long toes and […]

Overlapping and Underlapping Toes

Overlapping and underlapping toes occur when toes are out of position. The conditions can be congenital due to inheritance or the fetus’ in-utero position, or they can develop over time from ill-fitting footwear that constricts or pressures the toes, keeping them bunched rather than flat. It can also stem from a bunion. An overlapping toe […]


Hammertoe occurs when the toe bends at the middle joint, often as a result of wearing ill-fitting shoes. Genetics, arthritis, and muscle imbalance can also cause hammer toe. The affected toe resembles a hammer, which is where the deformity it gets its name. With hammer toe, the toe bends downward, rather than pointing straight forward. […]

Hallux Varus

Hallux varus is a deformity of the big toe joint that results in the big toe pointing outward, or away from the other toes, whereas a bunion would cause the big toe to lean inward. Hallux varus can be congenital, or it can occur from over corrective bunion surgery, a tight or short abductor hallucis […]

Hallux Rigidus

Hallux rigidus is a degenerative arthritis affecting the joint of the big toe that eventually causes the toe to become rigid, or immovable. Over time, the toe’s motion decreases due to wear-and-tear that deteriorates the articular cartilage, making it difficult to walk, run, or climb stairs, all of which involve pushing off of the big […]

Hallux Limitus

Hallux limitus, an arthritic condition of the hallux, or big toe, involves stiffness in the joint at the base of the big toe. Abnormal alignment of the first metatarsal bone is usually the cause of the condition that restricts motion. Injury, overuse, and genetics are other reasons for the development of hallux limitus. Symptoms include […]


Enchondromas develop in the bone underneath the toenail and are small, benign growths composed of cartilage. The tumors are composed of cartilage that forms in the bone and are usually painless, which is why they often go undiagnosed unless they are revealed during X-rays or screenings done for other diagnoses. Enchondromas that form at the […]