Lesser toe deformities aren’t uncommon, but they usually come about as a result of a co-existing bunion of the big toe. Sometimes, however, the lesser toes can become deformed after direct trauma or without the deviation of the big toe.
There are several deformities of the lesser toes which can affect normal function and come in the way of walking comfortably. Some of the more frequent deformities include the lesser toes crossing over towards the adjacent toe; other deformities involve the toes riding upon the next one. In most cases, pain is the presenting symptom along with difficulty bearing weight on the foot. It can also become tricky to fit such a foot in a shoe.
Lesser toe deformities are also associated with a skin-thickening called a callosity on the underside of the toe. This makes walking even more painful.
Correction of these deformities is usually done in a conservative manner. Toe splints or orthotics are usually recommended to manage most cases of hammer toes or other lesser toe deformities. These insoles help to alleviate the pain and improve weight bearing on the foot. However, this is a long road and recovery is prolonged.
In some cases (especially where a bunion is involved) surgical correction will be the choice of treatment. Surgery is done to reconstruct the ligament along with proper post-operative rehabilitation for a swift and speedy recovery.