Crossover Toe


Crossover toe is exactly what it sounds like. It is a condition when the second toe moves so that it is crossed over either on top of the big toe or under the big toe. This is a gradual migration from the normal position to the crossed over position. Crossover toe is not to be confused with hammertoe which is when a toe is in its position but it is bent in the shape of a hammer. (Thus the name…)
Let’s be honest, crossover toe is not very attractive. I have talked in the past about how you need to get to your friendly local podiatrist quickly sometimes to take care of your feet. This is one of those times. If you think that you may have this problem, go to the doctor as soon as possible. The treatment options are much more palatable at the onset of the condition. Unless, you want to have surgery…  I didn’t think so.
The condition is generally caused by abnormal bone structure in the foot. The abnormal structure will cause your weight to shift and excessive weight will be on the area under the second toe. The ligaments under the second toe will then weaken and the joint will not be able to stabilize. This destabilization will allow the toe to cross over.
The most common reasons for the abnormal bone structure that can cause crossover toe are the following:
Severe bunion deformity
Morton’s Toe (second toe longer than the big toe)
Unstable arch
Tight calf muscle
1.       Pain in the ball of the foot – it will feel like there is a marble between the shoe and foot or like your sock is balled up under your foot
2.       Swelling either on the ball of the foot or at the base of the toe
3.       Hard to wear shoes
Crossover toe is one of those conditions on the list of “get to the doctor as fast as you can”. Why? Early intervention can make the difference between surgical and non-surgical treatments.
If you suspect that your toe is starting to move, go to your friendly local podiatrist and have your foot checked. The pain that is associated with crossover toe and the pain from Morton’s neuroma are similar so your practitioner will have to determine the source of your pain. The doctor will look at your foot and move it around to see the source of your pain. It is probable that x-rays of your foot will be taken so that the bone structure of your foot can be seen.  The doctor can then show you how the bones in your foot are compared to normal bone structure.
If you have gone to the doctor before the toe has crossed over, then there are some non-surgical treatments that you and your doctor can discuss.
1.       Rest and ice
2.       Over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs  (like ibuprofen)
3.       Immobilizing the foot
4.       Taping the toe in the correct position
5.       Calf muscle stretches
6.       Supportive shoes
7.       Orthotics for inside your shoes

Once the toe has crossed over, the non-surgical options are not generally effective.  If you are at this point, your doctor will discuss the surgical options with you.

Have I made it clean enough that you need to get your foot checked if you think you have crossover toe? I thought so. I just hate the thought of you having to have surgery to correct the condition.
Your Pal,
The Foot Blogger Chick
 If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send them to or leave them in the comment section below. I am not a doctor but I check with one before answering questions. 
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