Is one of your toes shorter than the other? You may have a condition called Brachymetatarsia. This condition can cause a variety of problems with the way you walk, which in turn may cause pain and problems with footwear. Your ability to enjoy outdoor activities in Salt Lake City, or even simply to walk around without discomfort, could be impacted by Brachymetatarsia.
There are treatment options a foot doctor can help you to explore if you have this condition. Elizabeth E. Auger, DPM has treated many patients with Brachymetatarsia and can help you to come up with a treatment plan.
What is Brachymetatarsia?
Brachymetatarsia is caused by any one of the long bones in your foot becoming deformed. These long bones are called metatarsals, and one of them can grow too short if the growth plate closes too early. Foot trauma that fractures the metatarsal growth plate can cause this growth disorder, as could genetic factors. While genes can cause Brachymetatarsia, it is not considered a birth defect.
Symptoms of Brachymetatarsia
The most obvious sign you have Brachymetatarsia is the fact one of your toes will be shorter than the others. This could happen on either one or both feet. Unfortunately, this is not just an aesthetic problem. The fact that a toe is too short will impact how your weight is distributed when you walk.
When a person walks normally, weight is first put on the shortest fifth toe (the pinky) and then moves from the fifth to the fourth on down to the first toe (the hallux). Unfortunately, if any of the toes are too short, that toe cannot assume the weight...and it also cannot transfer the weight properly onto the next toe in line. The surrounding toes absorb extra weight, causing pain. You should talk with a foot doctor to get this treated before your activities are affected.
How Does Dr. Auger Treat Brachymetatarsia?
Dr. Auger can diagnose your Brachymetatarsia and will work with you to develop a treatment plan.
The most conservative option includes wearing shoes that have enough depth to account for the longer toe, and using padding to prevent friction from the short toe rubbing along the top of the shoe. Orthotics are also commonly used to ensure more even weight distribution. Dr. Auger can fit you for appropriate orthotics to make walking more comfortable.
In certain cases, treatment is performed to add length to the toe that is too short. This can be done surgically using a bone graft, and is possible only if the metatarsal is long enough to allow grafting. An external device could also be attached with pins to the metatarsal to gradually encourage the bone to naturally extend to the necessary length.
Contact Elizabeth E. Auger, DPM Today
Dr. Auger has helped many patients with brachymetatarsia in Salt Lake City, West Jordan, and Sandy, Utah. To find out more about how a caring and experienced foot doctor can treat your short toe, call today to talk with Dr. Auger.