Treating Under and Overlapping Toes


Your feet and toes are under a huge amount of stress and pressure with every step you take. These forces and your walking gait contribute to the development of toe deformities like bunions and underlapping and overlapping toes. Under and overlapping toes can cause considerable pain and discomfort, making it hard to walk. The alteration of your gait can have radiating complications in your knees, hips, and back, so be sure to see your podiatrist for the right treatment. 

  • Underlapping toes— The condition of underlapping toes usually involves the fourth and fifth toes and is exacerbated by toe tendons and muscles that are out of balance. The actual cause, however, is still being debated. Wearing properly-fitted shoes with a wider toe box and using toe caps, spacers, and other orthotics will keep the toes apart. In severe cases, surgery will be required to release the tightness in the toe tendon.

  • Overlapping toes—This deformity usually involves the second toe overlapping with the big toe. However it can also affect other toes. The reason the big toe is so often involved is because a bunion on the big toe can push the big toe into the second, causing overlapping to occur. Shoes that are too tight can exacerbate the problem, so choose shoes with a wide toe box. Custom orthotic shoe inserts and spacers can be used to keep the toes apart and prevent rubbing which will reduce the occurrence of skin conditions like corns and blisters. In cases of pronounced bending, surgery may be required to straighten the toes. 

If you are experiencing problems due to over or underlapping toes, see your foot doctor for the proper treatment. Call Achilles Foot and Ankle Surgery, PC located in Martins Ferry, Ohio and St. Clairsville, Ohio, as well as Wheeling West Virginia. With access to advanced technologies, Dr. Bruce G. Blank and his staff can help you manage all of your foot and ankle conditions including heel pain, ankle sprains, toe deformities, fungal toenails, and plantar warts. Call 740-633-4188 or make an appointment online today.