Let’s face it, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about your pinky toe. But when injury strikes, it might be the only thing on your mind! There are many reasons why your pinky toe might be causing you more trouble than normal. Read on for some common issues and when it’s best to get professional treatment.
If you’ve stubbed your pinky toe, dropped something heavy on it, or hit it during contact sport and are injured, you may have broken your toe. Breaks can be complete, or they could be stress fractures, meaning the bone has developed tiny cracks. If you’ve got swelling, pain, stiffness, or injury to your nail, you may have a break. It’s very important you get your toe assessed by a podiatrist if you have these symptoms and if they start to worsen.
If you’ve knocked your toe or overstretched it, the bones may have separated and you could have a dislocation. Dislocations can be partial or complete, and commonly cause pain on movement, swelling, bruising, and numbness. Your toe will also look crooked, which is often a tell-tale sign of dislocation. If you suspect a dislocation in your pinky toe, contact us today.
Sprains arise from injuries to ligaments, which connect bones and joints. They’re often caused by hard knocks or overstretching. If you have a sprain, you’ll have pain but will usually be able to keep walking. You may also notice throbbing, tenderness, swelling, or bruising. A podiatrist can correctly assess the severity of your sprain and provide or recommend the appropriate treatment.
Tailor's bunion or bunionette
If you notice a bony bump at the base of your pinky toe, you might have a tailor’s bunion or bunionette. These can be caused by abnormal foot structure, or by wearing shoes that are too narrow for your feet. If you have a bunion, you’ll notice a small lump that grows over time and appears red and swollen. You’ll likely also have pain, which can be significant. When you visit a podiatrist, they’ll be able to offer treatments to relieve your pain and advise on what you can do to maintain comfort.
Corns are made up of toughened layers of skin and generally arise as a response to pressure or friction. The most common cause is wearing shoes that are too tight or put too much pressure on your feet. Hard corns can cause pain, which can become worse if your shoe irritates it. You’ll likely be able to tell if you have a corn if you notice a tough, yellowing patch of skin that’s sensitive to touch and if you have pain when wearing your shoes. Podiatrists are trained to successfully alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with corns.