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Can the middle toes develop bunions?

Posted by Beverly on 3/31/01 at 11:40 (043143)

I am at my wit's end. My wonderful Boston Birks are making my middle toes hurt (esp. 3rd toe). I finally found a comfty 'can wear everyday' alternative to my Arizona Birks. This is especially important in the winter. I have other shoes like Dansko's to wear occassionally for dressup. But these Boston Birks were not only as comfty in the heel/arch as my Arizona's but even more comfty. I wore them for over month without a problem.

Two weeks ago, they started rubbing a sore spot on my third toe... left foot. (Same foot that has the worst case of PF/PTT. Same foot that has a very small dorsal bunion.) I thought it was just a fluke and stopped wearing them for a couple of weeks. Yesterday, I wore them for several hours and they left my toe achey long after I'd taken them off. But they are superior to any other shoe I've tried for heel/arch relief.

Feeling that toe, the 1st joint directly below the toe nail feels a little pronounced but not really noticeable to the naked eye. Could this be a bunion? I've never heard of a bunion on the middle toes.

I'm thinking about ordering a silicone toe cap and/or a gel toe cushion from Footsmart. Do you think that would work? I hate to think about having to give up these shoes.
Thanks,
Beverly

Re: Can the middle toes develop bunions?

Dr. Zuckerman on 3/31/01 at 12:03 (043146)

Hi,

Yes the toe gel caps are perfect for this. Warm epison soaks will also helps to relieve any irritation to the toes. Bunions are on the side of the foot. You probaby have a bursitis at the joint in the toe. So keep the shoes. You can get them directly to the local drug store and get the gel cap there.

Re: Thanks, and bursitis toe question for Doc Z.

Beverly on 4/01/01 at 14:17 (043254)

Thanks, Dr. Z. I'm glad to hear that bunions don't pop up on the middle toes. I have a few questions.

1. Why would these shoes feel fine for almost two months and then suddenly start hurting my toe joint on that 3rd toe (top joint directly underneath toenail)? They are plenty wide enough.

2. If this is bursitis, did my PF gait probably cause it? Does bursitis come and go? If irritated, will it make the joint keep getting bigger? My toe ached for two days after I took off the Boston clog and switched back to sandals. Yet, the pain felt more surface like than deep in the joint. If I didn't know that is a very small hard bump on that joint, I would have said I had a nasty blister... almost a burning feeling mixed with an ache. But there is no redness...

3. Is there any reason to think that this is the beginning of a hammer toe?

I couldn't find that toe cap at the drug store, but as I said, I've ordered it from the Footsmart catalog. They had several different kinds. I ordered all of them.

Thanks,
Beverly

Re: Thanks, and bursitis toe question for Doc Z.

Dr. Zuckerman on 4/03/01 at 09:15 (043420)

Hi,

Possible causes for this very likely blister and not hammer toe or joint involvement.

1. 1. Socks getting caught in the toe.
2. Swelling in the foot
3. Seam in the shoe rubbing.
4. probaby the sock getting caught up in the shoe and toe

Some one out to get your toe . Yes change in walking due to the pain from plantar fasciitis.

Re: For Beverly...

Barbara TX on 4/03/01 at 10:24 (043428)

Beverly -

I don't know why I didn't catch this thread sooner - I too have the toe thing that you describe (third toe rubs on the top of the Birk), being very devoted to the Boston. I wear them with no socks most of the time now. This thing flares when I drive - somehow the position of the flexed foot rubs that tow on the top of the birks even more. When I drove to Dr. Z's it made me crazy to have that joint so sore. My toe also appears as flat as the others, except when I grip the carpet (try this) and you can see it raise higher than anything else - I belive that is normal. Bostons are a toe-grip shoe, much like the old Dr. Scholls sandal... but that old open-toe sandal kept that flexing digit out in the air, rubbed by nothing! Wait - on further inspection, I do have a little rubbing scar on that toe.

I completely agree with Dr. Z... I think its a surface thing, and it doesn't raise a blister for you because there is little friction, only pressure. If your Birks are leather, you can perhaps explain your problem to a good shoemaker and he can work to soften and raise that spot at the top of the shoe. Or, you can try the gel-thing - maybe cut it into a band-aid type thing to put around that sore joint.

Anyway - I think this thing is shoe-related and not pf-related. Look on the bright side... I got that toe-joint thing when I was much more active. You are probably walking more in the Birks now and these things show up with more activity. My toe is fine, but I am much less active than before. Good luck! B.

P.S. As you have noted, there is a rash of people going to Dr. Z, perhaps in June... are you tempted? We could go with Judy and Nancy?

Re: For Beverly...

JudyS on 4/03/01 at hrmin (043437)

TexBarb - I talked with Nancy N last nite about setting a date. I'm open any time after April.....and can hardly wait!

TexBev? This party absolutely NEEDS a real southern belle!

Re: Thanks, Dr. Z., TXBarb, Judy

Beverly on 4/03/01 at 14:46 (043453)

Hi Dr. Z., TXBarb, and Judy,

Dr. Z., thank you for those possible scenarios. They all sound much better than a hammertoe or bunion! And as always, you have great humor.

Barbara, I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one with this toe problem. I know it sounds trivial compared to PF, tendonitis and other afflictions. I'm giving my tootsies a closed shoe break and then trying these assorted suggestions. The only difference between your description and mine, is that my toe joint definitely has a hard boney bump on it but like I said, it's small. But I have other toes with the same bump and none of them hurt; so who knows!

Barbara, how long did it take you to fly to Dr. Z's? You know, I'm scared to death of airplanes. You might have to hold my hand with one hand, pop Valium in my mouth, and use your free hand for saying a Novena for our safe travel!

The Texas Posse to Dr. Z's just may have another addition this summer, but I can't go in June. Daddy and I are going to take another stab at last year's failed trek to Red River. It should be very restful... good sit on your butt activities.

But I'm giving this EWST a go with someone in either July or August. Still not sure who. Barbara, your pod, Dr. Lifshen, has good prices. Unless I misunderstood his nurse, it is $1500.00 a foot. (The docs in Houston knock you out and that price tag is $5000.00). Dr. Z., of course is somewhere in between those two figures. If Dr. Lifshen has alot of zaps under his belt by this summer, I may consider him, or I may load up on Valium, take a deep breath, and fly to N.J. I have a friend who could go with me and make sure I don't loose my luggage in my Valium haze!
Thanks,
Beverly

Re: Thanks, Dr. Z., TXBarb, Judy

Richard Perez, DPM on 4/03/01 at hrmin (043454)

Why don't you take the train to NJ?

Re: Thanks, Dr. Z., TXBarb, Judy

JudyS on 4/03/01 at 19:42 (043504)

TexBev - can you go to NJ in May?

Re: To Judy

Beverly on 4/04/01 at 13:58 (043575)

Judy,

The reason I'm aiming for the summer is that in the meantime, I am doing Weight Watchers, trying to loose weight. I feel like if I could get some extra pounds off, it might make the EWST work better. And as I said, I'm still exploring where I'm going to do this. If Dr. Z. were closer, he would win hands down. Since he is not, I'm considering docs closer to home.
The train idea is a good one. I love trains. I bet it takes a week to get to N.J. by train. That would be very restful. I'll have to investigate if a train goes to N.J. from Texas.
Thanks,
Beverly

Re: Can the middle toes develop bunions?

Dr. Zuckerman on 3/31/01 at 12:03 (043146)

Hi,

Yes the toe gel caps are perfect for this. Warm epison soaks will also helps to relieve any irritation to the toes. Bunions are on the side of the foot. You probaby have a bursitis at the joint in the toe. So keep the shoes. You can get them directly to the local drug store and get the gel cap there.

Re: Thanks, and bursitis toe question for Doc Z.

Beverly on 4/01/01 at 14:17 (043254)

Thanks, Dr. Z. I'm glad to hear that bunions don't pop up on the middle toes. I have a few questions.

1. Why would these shoes feel fine for almost two months and then suddenly start hurting my toe joint on that 3rd toe (top joint directly underneath toenail)? They are plenty wide enough.

2. If this is bursitis, did my PF gait probably cause it? Does bursitis come and go? If irritated, will it make the joint keep getting bigger? My toe ached for two days after I took off the Boston clog and switched back to sandals. Yet, the pain felt more surface like than deep in the joint. If I didn't know that is a very small hard bump on that joint, I would have said I had a nasty blister... almost a burning feeling mixed with an ache. But there is no redness...

3. Is there any reason to think that this is the beginning of a hammer toe?

I couldn't find that toe cap at the drug store, but as I said, I've ordered it from the Footsmart catalog. They had several different kinds. I ordered all of them.

Thanks,
Beverly

Re: Thanks, and bursitis toe question for Doc Z.

Dr. Zuckerman on 4/03/01 at 09:15 (043420)

Hi,

Possible causes for this very likely blister and not hammer toe or joint involvement.

1. 1. Socks getting caught in the toe.
2. Swelling in the foot
3. Seam in the shoe rubbing.
4. probaby the sock getting caught up in the shoe and toe

Some one out to get your toe . Yes change in walking due to the pain from plantar fasciitis.

Re: For Beverly...

Barbara TX on 4/03/01 at 10:24 (043428)

Beverly -

I don't know why I didn't catch this thread sooner - I too have the toe thing that you describe (third toe rubs on the top of the Birk), being very devoted to the Boston. I wear them with no socks most of the time now. This thing flares when I drive - somehow the position of the flexed foot rubs that tow on the top of the birks even more. When I drove to Dr. Z's it made me crazy to have that joint so sore. My toe also appears as flat as the others, except when I grip the carpet (try this) and you can see it raise higher than anything else - I belive that is normal. Bostons are a toe-grip shoe, much like the old Dr. Scholls sandal... but that old open-toe sandal kept that flexing digit out in the air, rubbed by nothing! Wait - on further inspection, I do have a little rubbing scar on that toe.

I completely agree with Dr. Z... I think its a surface thing, and it doesn't raise a blister for you because there is little friction, only pressure. If your Birks are leather, you can perhaps explain your problem to a good shoemaker and he can work to soften and raise that spot at the top of the shoe. Or, you can try the gel-thing - maybe cut it into a band-aid type thing to put around that sore joint.

Anyway - I think this thing is shoe-related and not pf-related. Look on the bright side... I got that toe-joint thing when I was much more active. You are probably walking more in the Birks now and these things show up with more activity. My toe is fine, but I am much less active than before. Good luck! B.

P.S. As you have noted, there is a rash of people going to Dr. Z, perhaps in June... are you tempted? We could go with Judy and Nancy?

Re: For Beverly...

JudyS on 4/03/01 at hrmin (043437)

TexBarb - I talked with Nancy N last nite about setting a date. I'm open any time after April.....and can hardly wait!

TexBev? This party absolutely NEEDS a real southern belle!

Re: Thanks, Dr. Z., TXBarb, Judy

Beverly on 4/03/01 at 14:46 (043453)

Hi Dr. Z., TXBarb, and Judy,

Dr. Z., thank you for those possible scenarios. They all sound much better than a hammertoe or bunion! And as always, you have great humor.

Barbara, I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one with this toe problem. I know it sounds trivial compared to PF, tendonitis and other afflictions. I'm giving my tootsies a closed shoe break and then trying these assorted suggestions. The only difference between your description and mine, is that my toe joint definitely has a hard boney bump on it but like I said, it's small. But I have other toes with the same bump and none of them hurt; so who knows!

Barbara, how long did it take you to fly to Dr. Z's? You know, I'm scared to death of airplanes. You might have to hold my hand with one hand, pop Valium in my mouth, and use your free hand for saying a Novena for our safe travel!

The Texas Posse to Dr. Z's just may have another addition this summer, but I can't go in June. Daddy and I are going to take another stab at last year's failed trek to Red River. It should be very restful... good sit on your butt activities.

But I'm giving this EWST a go with someone in either July or August. Still not sure who. Barbara, your pod, Dr. Lifshen, has good prices. Unless I misunderstood his nurse, it is $1500.00 a foot. (The docs in Houston knock you out and that price tag is $5000.00). Dr. Z., of course is somewhere in between those two figures. If Dr. Lifshen has alot of zaps under his belt by this summer, I may consider him, or I may load up on Valium, take a deep breath, and fly to N.J. I have a friend who could go with me and make sure I don't loose my luggage in my Valium haze!
Thanks,
Beverly

Re: Thanks, Dr. Z., TXBarb, Judy

Richard Perez, DPM on 4/03/01 at hrmin (043454)

Why don't you take the train to NJ?

Re: Thanks, Dr. Z., TXBarb, Judy

JudyS on 4/03/01 at 19:42 (043504)

TexBev - can you go to NJ in May?

Re: To Judy

Beverly on 4/04/01 at 13:58 (043575)

Judy,

The reason I'm aiming for the summer is that in the meantime, I am doing Weight Watchers, trying to loose weight. I feel like if I could get some extra pounds off, it might make the EWST work better. And as I said, I'm still exploring where I'm going to do this. If Dr. Z. were closer, he would win hands down. Since he is not, I'm considering docs closer to home.
The train idea is a good one. I love trains. I bet it takes a week to get to N.J. by train. That would be very restful. I'll have to investigate if a train goes to N.J. from Texas.
Thanks,
Beverly