In Foot Services, Works

What Is An Extra Toe (Polydactyly)?

Feet Polydactyly is a rare, congenital condition present from birth on one or both feet. In the foot, it is more common (approximately around 80 percent of all cases) to have an extra toe on the outside of the foot. This is termed postaxial polydactyly. These toes may be fully functional, complete with nerve endings, bones, and even joints. In the other hand, they may be just fleshy and non-functional.

Symptoms Of Feet Polydactyly

In Feet Polydactyly the duplicated toe(s) may make fitting shoes quite difficult/impossible, because it typically adds width to the foot. Patients experience walking pain or/and pain at rest. Furthermore, they also experience painful corns and calluses between the normal and extra toe, as a result of the excessive rubbing in the close proximity and swollen toes.

feet polydactyly

Foot with six toes

Causes of Polydactyly

Polydactyly is a genetic condition which associates with several syndromes, such as: Bardet-Biedl Syndrome, MeckelGruber Syndrome, Down Syndrome and McKusick-Kaufman Syndrome. It seems that predisposition or congenital malformation at birth, are the main cause of the extra toe(s).

Treatment Options

Non-Surgical Treatment

  • Patient should wear shoes with wide toe box and extra arch support, so the feet can fit-in properly.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines are useful, because they can reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Icing can also help with pain relief but especially with swelling reduction.
  • Taping both the normal and extra toes, sometimes can be helpful.
  • Custom foot orthotics provide extra support and better foot alignment.

Surgical Treatment

Basically, it’s a foot reconstruction surgery. Each case is different. Not all extra toes are functional ; in some cases the entire toe will be duplicated along with metatarsal and in others there’s only a portion of the toe which’s duplicated. X-Rays contribute to find the better solution, depending on the condition’s clinical appearance. Finally, a common solution is removing the outermost toe and the portion of bone that it is associated with.


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