Crossover toe occurs when the second toe moves closer and eventually crosses over and lies on top of the big toe. Although it can occur at any age, it is most often seen in adults and occurs over a long period of time.
Pain can be experienced on the ball of the foot or on top of the toe as it rubs in shoe gear. As the condition worsens it can lead to increase pain and, sometimes, dorsal (top) ulceration of the skin due to continual irritation of the shoe”s toe box.
Crossover toe is a progressive disorder. In the very early stages-the best time to treat crossover toe-a patient may have pain but no crossover of the toe. Without treatment, the condition usually worsens to dislocation of the joint, so it is very beneficial to have a foot and ankle surgeon evaluate the foot soon after pain first occurs.
Crossover toe is a result of increased pressure on the second toe joint which can lead to weakening of the supportive ligaments. Eventually, this leads to a failure of the joint to stabilize the toe resulting in the toe crossing over the big toe.
Often a bunion deformity accompanies the deformity and can expedite its progression.
Ideally the best time to treat crossover toe is before the toe starts to drift toward the big toe. At that time, non-surgical approaches can be used to stabilize the joint and reduce the symptoms and address the underlying cause of the condition.
Your Podiatric foot and ankle surgeon will select the appropriate procedure to address the amount of deformity. However, after the digit has crossed over the big toe surgery is necessary to reduce the contracture.