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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM


My problem involves my second (index)toes on both feet. They point at approximately a 45 degree angle toward the third toes. They don't hurt and don't seem to cause any real problems but I hate the way they look. I love to go barefooted, or at least without shoes, but am highly self-conscious about doing so due to my toes. I am finally to the point that I am seeking medical advice. Is there a way to correct this without resorting to surgery or is that the only cure? I have never seen anyone else with this condition. Please help me!!

Assuming this is a rigid deformity (you cannot bend the toes straight and keep them that way), then more than likely you will require surgery to correct them.
It is not major surgery but the one piece of advice I can give you is make sure your expectations are the same as your surgeon.
More than likely it will require a bone fusion which means that even though toe will be straight it may not bend. Additionally, second toes have a high incidence of swelling postoperatively and can stay that way, so just make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before you consent to surgery.
Marc Mitnick DPM


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Sep 22, 2016
by: Alan

To the poster who added their comment on Jul 07, 2014 (with comment title "True problem" - describing how you fixed your toes with the help of a physical therapist and exercises for strengthening the arches): if by any chance you're reading this, I would really really appreciate if you could contact me by email - I would need a contact for that physical therapist and some details about the exercises.
My email: [email protected]

May 07, 2016
crooked toes
by: Anonymous

I had the most beautiful feet all my life. However, now I am 69 and suddenly I was going to wear my sandals for summer and I almost did not recognize my feet. Middle and others crooked. My daughter is 30 and she has crooked toes. I thought this is one of the "beautiful" changes of being old. Any easy advised?

Jan 12, 2015
No sandals for me :( by: Anonymous
by: Anonymous

This is a reply for 'No Sandals For Me'. I know exactly what you mean about not wearing sandals. I feel the same way. I do go barefoot around the house and outside our house constantly but am still afraid to display my crooked second toes to the world. I feel everyone will be staring at them which I realize is not true but it still makes me feel that way.
One thing I will do is to wear sandals with pantyhose which somewhat hides the shape of my toes, particularly the type of hose which have reinforced toes.
Someone would have a hard time telling my toes are crooked when I wear them so I feel more comfortable doing so. In really hot weather, I just can't stand to wear closed-toe shoes.
I believe I have very attractive feet other than the crooked second toes.

Jan 11, 2015
No sandals for me :(
by: Anonymous

I have not read all the comments here but from the ones I have read, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one embarrassed of her feet. My problem is that my second toes are crooked,but are facing the big toes. I went to the doctor last year and he told me it was inherited. Someone in my family has the same thing. I would LOVE to wear all the beautiful shoes everyone else wears. Here's to wishful thinking.

Dec 05, 2014
by: Anonymous

I'm sure it could be genes but nobody in my family ever had this condition. They are turned toward the middle toes at such an angle that the second toes are making an impression on the middle toes. I wish I could show you my toes and wish you could show me yours so we could compare.
And in my case, it has nothing to do with the second toes being longer than the big toes because they are shorter. And not just because they are curved, I can straighten them and they still are shorter than the big toes.

Dec 03, 2014
Same thing :(
by: Anonymous

I have actually looking for advice too. My fathers grandma had a problem with her toes. They were all curving and as she grew older they got on top of each other. She had a medical condition though. It made me think twice about my second toe, I wondered if I had the same thing. I talked to my mother and showed her and she thought it was strange my toe was curving. Then she looked at hers and they were almost like mine. She said I didn't have anything to worry about and if I felt pain then I should seek medical help. Maybe it's just your genes like mine.

Nov 10, 2014
by: Anonymous

Hi everyone. I was the original poster for this thread. It has been five years since I originally wrote this. During that time, I have thought a lot about my dilemma on my second toes.
I decided to let some other people's opinions help guide my decision. I know I didn't like the way they looked but I wondered how they looked to others.

And toes do look different from different angles. I look at them from above while others look at them from the front.

I found a foot website which allowed me to post pictures.

So, I took advantage of that by asking people who saw my pics to vote on which one of my toes they liked the most.

I know that sounds crazy but I felt it was a good way to receive some honest opinions.
I received tons of votes on this poll. And the big toe and the little toe were almost tied as being the favorite.

But, amazingly, the second toe was next in voting. And it was not all that far behind the big toe and little toe. I figured it would be last.

I guess what surprised me the most was that a lot of respondents replied they like the second toe because it was curved or crooked.

So, there! I guess I have my answer. Because of honest public opinions, I have learned to like my crooked second toes.

And I have no desire to have them straightened now.

Thank you to all who replied on this thread.

Aug 19, 2014
same issue
by: Anonymous

i have this same issue. they both curve identically outward, and all other toes are normal. i've had xrays of my foot that show that it's just the end portion of the toe that is crookend and not at the base of the toe.

either way, up until now i've really never thought twice about it, but i've had a recurring pain at the base of the metatarsal there where the toe and foot connect, and i'm hoping it's something unrelated to the curve.

Jul 30, 2014
Good questions
by: sam

I have enjoyed this 5 year old conversation. I too have a 45 degree curving outward from the big toe second and third toe curvature. DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHAT THE MEDICAL TERM FOR THIS CONDITION? Track runners toes?
Also is this fixable? Seems to conflicting advice here.

Jul 27, 2014
Crooked Second Toes
by: Anonymous

I have very crooked second toes, actually from birth. My son inherited my good luck, as well...sandals, flip flops and open toe shoes are my enemy. I have toe cramps very often, especially in cold weather or when swimming. I came to this site looking for options to correct this, but from the doctor's comments, I think I'd better off to just be happy I don't have constant pain.

Jul 23, 2014
Crooked toes
by: Anonymous

I Also have this. Not sure if it's from birth but noticed it lately. No pain, but I think it may be getting more pronounced. Apparently I have bunions, but not too pronounced. High arches too. I always thought my feet looked better than average + wouldn't be worried about the 2 nd toe. However if there is anyone out there who is more knowledgeable + thinks that I should do something to prevent any future problems I'd be grateful for advice.

Jul 07, 2014
True problem
by: Anonymous

So I had this same problem. And I always thought my toe was crooked, but that's not the case, and I came across the solution when I was looking somewhere else. I was dealing with bad alignment problems throughout my body, and when correcting them, a lot came down to the arches of my feet. What is most likely going on with your toe is that you actually have lost your arch, so all of the toes to the outside of your big toe rotated outwards. Do you get foot cramps often? This is your foot trying to realign your arches. After a lot of work with my physical therapist, I have strengthened my arches, and my toes are straight. Try something, while sitting, roll your foot outward so that the crocked toe aims straight down, now your big toe should be up In the air, and the outside of your foot is probably the only part still on the ground. Now slowly stretch the ball of your foot, right behind the big toe, reaching to touch the ground, but keeping your other toes still. Imagine your big toe sliding around the side of your second toe. This will be difficult at first because you are not used to it, but you are actually stretching your foot to be in the proper position. Notice, once you can reach the ball of your foot to the ground, your arches are much more pronounced.

Mar 29, 2013
croked toe repair
by: Anonymous

there is a capsule that holds toes in the right place that can be repaired, my ortho told me.

Aug 17, 2012
second toes
by: Anonymous

I feel a little bit better that there are other people who have the same issues I have i.e. second toes are bent 45 degree towards the third one.
The only person who had same toes was my Dad. So I think it is hereditary especially if they do not hurt. My little son does not have it though...
I am a 30 year old woman and am still very self-conscious about I try to wear closed shoes even in the summer time.
Anyway, just wanted to let all of you know that you are not alone...and it is not after all not a big

Sep 04, 2011
crooked second toes
by: Anonymous

I have crooked second toes as well, and my left foot is getting worse, sometimes has pain which might be arthritis but am not sure. I do not even know the proper name of this, but know that I am extremely self conscious and hate wearing sandals as a result of. any suggestions?

Nov 01, 2010
Hammer toe correction
by: Mr A.

I had hallux valgus with hammer toe correction and now after 5 months i have a lot of pain and it is badly crooked now and when the pin was removed after 6 weeks post op it was bent I think it healed this way and now I think the ortho will have to do it over again.
Any suggestions

Sep 28, 2010
Same here
by: jimmy nz

My index toes also point toward my 3rd toes on a45ish degree angle.It doesnt cause me any problems but is abit strange looking as some of my friends have pointed out.My left colar bone has a huge curve in at as opposed to my right 1 being dead straight,this means my left shoulders length is alot less than the rights.

Aug 29, 2010
crooked 2nd toe
by: Anonymous

Could be hereditary. I have several family members with a crooked 2nd toe on both feet. None of them have complained of pain. It just looks weird

Mar 01, 2010
You're not alone.
by: Anonymous

My second toes both do the same thing that you're describing -- they bend sideways at about a 45-degree angle. And like you, I've never met anyone else who suffers from this. Mine have done this for as long as I can remember. I've thought about surgery but I know insurance wouldn't cover it, and the doctor's comments gave me pause for thought.

Nov 18, 2009
Crooked Toes
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem with my left 3rd toe. I'm a 16 year old girl and I hate my left foot!

Sep 26, 2009
second toe
by: Anonymous

Hi. I have had a severe crooked second toe my whole life. I have had a lot of people comment on it too. Now that I am approaching 50 the toe is starting to give me alot of pain, and it is leaning on the toe next to it so they are all crooked. I sure hate the summertime!

Jun 06, 2009
by: Anonymous

I guess maybe I should just leave well enough alone then. I don't like the way my second toes look but it sounds as though they could look worse after surgery not to mention all the pain!

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Orthotics for multiple types of foot pain
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Hunterville, NC
….after reviewing your amazing site (great for the avg. jill). So thank you very much!!!


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This was an extremely helpful site. I have an appointment on the 18th and your info. Was right on target…..


A well organized site containing much information written in a manner that the average reader can comprehend.


Ontario, Canada
I found your website and articles most interesting.


Thank you for a quick response. I think your site is the best information site on foot pain and I have viewed many.


(location unknown)
I came to your website, via www.foot-pain explained .com which I think is also your website? I thought explanations for different types of problems were well addressed and thoughtfully stated for the patient in mind.


New York
You have an amazing and extremely informative site. I enjoyed looking through all of the data and stats.


Memphis, TN
Thanks again so much for the information in the article. Very interesting.


Great article. I have had plantar fasciitis since I was in high school……..

J. Simmons

(location unknown)
Dear Dr. Mitnick, The orthotics arrived four days ago and I slipped them into my shoes immediately. I was skeptical as to the usefulness of the item, they really didn't look very exotic. I have to say though, after using them for just four days, I have experienced grand relief from my foot pain. Even the very first day, I was able to do a lot of work while on my feet with at least a 75% reduction of pain. It has only gotten better every day, and I go nowhere without my shoes with the orthotics. I had been experiencing extreme heel and sole pain for about six months and had to take extended breaks off my feet many times a day as well as regular doses of Ibuprofen. Since getting the orthotics, my life has returned to normal and I feel good again. Just wanted to say thanks for the recommendation for a very effective item, I had no idea what a change this item could affect.

Yours truly,

J.C. Forbes

Thanks for the Response, you hit it on the head.


Redondo Beach, CA
Thank you for your time and expertise in answering my question…..


(location unknown)
First, thanks for putting together this website. Its the most informative site I have found dealing with foot problems. Last June I started having pain and swelling at …….


(location unknown)
First of all, thank you for having all this useful information available in one place. I've been through most of your website and based on my research, pain and evaluations I think I've narrowed things down quite a bit.

Pete M.

(location unknown)
Thank you for the best site I have found when researching foot pain.

Glenda B.

Madison, Alabama
Thanks for replying so quickly. I was a bit concerned. I think your website is great, and chock full of info.....


Denison, TX
Dr. Marc, Thank you so much for your reply which seemed to be right on. I have researched many sites but you put me on the right path to the possible answer. My foot pain may not rule the rest of my life after all! I believe I'll make a sign that reads, "THE END IS NEAR!" Thanks Very Much,


West lafayette, IN
Dear doubt you get positive comments re your site...May I please be added to the list of your admirers. In all of my years of web surfing I would say your site is right there with the very best. Thank you for taking the time to write the terrific info you provide and for putting things into laymen terms for us mere mortals. I pray you have much on going success and thank you again for a deed well done. As for me I did not find much help for my symptoms and will continue on my quest. Were you anywhere in the South I would make and appointment...Thanks again dear sir...m.e.

Michael E.

Tampa, Florida 33624
Hi. This is a great site! I'm a healthy middle aged woman who is in good health, but.....


Just a wee word of thanks for your wonderful website...It is a terrific service...Thank you for providing your knowledge and help...With highest regards, m ebeling

Michael D. Ebeling

Tampa, Florida 33624

Thanks for a most interesting website, which has helped a lot.



Dear Dr.Mitnick

I usually do my research on the Mayo clinic website. I think your website is the most informative site I have found when researching foot pain.

I thank you for putting together this incredible website.


Dragica W.


....I have been told that it is not hard enough to be cut off. Please help, I am not sure what to do now! THANKS FOR A WONDERFUL AND VERY HELPFUL SITE!


South Africa

You have an unusually clear, informative and well-written website for laypersons. Thank you for that.

Matthew W.

Mansfield Ctr, CT

First, I'd like to thank you for all the information that you provide on your website and the opportunity to write to you.


Placentia, California

First, I want to let you know that you have the best web site I've found related to foot issues. (The only thing I had difficulty finding was the "ask a question" page.)


Unknown location

I received the orthotics Monday afternoon and began wearing them Tuesday. After two days I would say that I have noticed a huge improvement in the discomfort I have been experiencing. My foot feels better than it has in months.

Ric J.

Unknown location

I greatly admire someone like you who would donate and dedicate so much time and effort to helping strangers with no compensation. Truly, it is uncommonly kind. And your site is so intelligently arranged.

Ron R.

Pacific Grove, CA

I used to work for a podiatrist (front desk) back during summers in college years ago, so I know the benefits of good care. Again, I want to thank you for an EXCELLENT website. It was so great to get to your site (top of google search) and actually find all the answers I needed EASILY and QUICKLY! Clearly you put a ton of work into it and I really appreciate it.

All the best,


Alameda, California

By the way, millions of websites could use yours as a guideline on how to organize information and make the site user-friendly. Kudos to you!


Thank you for your very interesting and informative site!


Hi. I come to your site often looking for information. It is really informative and I appreciate it very much. I have RA and have been having considerable amount of foot pain...... Dee RN

Thanks very much for the wonderful informative site.


New Zealand

Thank You for my answer! I have been schedule for a bone density scan, allingment, and I am in the process of getting orthotics made, and checking out the natural remedies. Thank again! What a great web site!



Yes I want both pair of orthotics. You don't have an option of ordering 2 at one time so I had to place the order twice. Thanks. My husband likes these and wants to put them in all of his shoes. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

Cindy H.

I searched the internet everywhere for a clear description and illustration of my symptoms/problem. was where I ended my search with answers. If I lived in Jersey (left 30 years ago) and didn't live in Florida I would definetly make an appointment with Dr. Mitnick.

Thanks, Kathy

1st of all THANKS A LOT for your great site......


Thank you so much for your response. I will let you know how I am doing if you would like. Your website is awesome!


South Carolina
Hello! I want to thank you for such an informative website! I found you based on my ankle pain search and am happy to realize that there may be a relatively simple cause and solution....


unknown location

...Thanks for your fantastic service.


Arlington, VA

Thank you so very much, that would be much appreciated. I love those insoles, by the way. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

Kelly W.

San Clemente, CA

Dr Marc is fantastic...He seems to know exactly what you are feeling with the problems you are having. I wish he was in my home town so I could go to him with my problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!


location unknown

Great insights! Thanks Doc, you're the best.


location unknown

I have been experiencing foot pain of various sorts and am working to figure out what it is. I found this site and can only say BRAVO!! What an excellent site! The time it must have taken to put all this together must've been a daunting task! I am sure it has helped so many people. Thank you so very much for doing this.


location unknown

Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so much for your reply. I did let my physician know and they took an x-ray - all is well! Also, thank you for providing this wonderful site, it is very helpful with lots of useful information! I appreciate your gift of time! God bless.


Dr. Mitnick, Thank you, you were 100% correct. The pain finally brought me to the ER. I spent 8 days in the hospital. The Doppler you spoke of was able to show that there was no pulse in that foot. This was an arterial clot that split and traveled throughout my leg. My leg was almost amputated. I am in rough shape but have all my parts intact!! You certainly know what you are talking about. Thank you for taking the time to answer. Yours Truly!


Staying at home after hallux surgery I spend quite a lot of time seaching info useful for avoiding problems which might come back. Today I found your site and I am .... delighted it happened. It's one of the best site I found last days.



Thanks for taking time to read and answer so many questions. It is truly a public service!


Seattle, WA

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!!


location unknown

Also, and importantly, just want to praise this web site. Thorough and thoughtfully presented, it certainly must be of considerable assistance to anyone with a foot problem. Terrific -- and very interesting.I trust the address comes up easily for those seeking information.


New Jersey

Thanks so much for answering my question. You've been more help to me than my own Dr. has been lately. Thanks again....I hope to be able to walk without pain someday.


location unknown

Wow, that is exactly the information needed!!! thank you thank you thank you!!! I appreciate this help so very much from Marc Mitnick DPM. Excellent information and help to improve One's life.


location unknown

Thanks so much for this website Dr. Marc! It is so nice that you have this ask the doctor feature..I'm sure I'ts been helpful for alot of people. I will try what you suggested and see if it helps...thanks again!


Evansville, IA

Dear Marc

I just want to say thank you for the quick response and the good info. I find it amazing and a super nice thing that you do here by answering medical questions at no charge.

Russ W.

location unknown

Your website is full of a lot of helpful information, and I am very impressed with the time in which you responded to my post. Thank you again for your time and consideration in your response.


location unknown

Thank you very much for the information, I will consider it. Excellent web site.


San Diego, CA

Dr. Mitnick, Just want to say thank you so very much for your quick response and very informative reply! After reading what you had to say, I called the doctor's office and was able to get in and see him the same day as my injury. Toe was x-rayed and luckily, it is not broken or fractured. Very badly bruised and will probably lose the toe nail. And although my toe and toe nail are still very black and blue and very sore, they ARE both starting to feel a little better. So again, thank you! I am so very happy that I came across your website. The service you provide is outstanding and immeasurable!


Albany, NY

Thank you so much for all of your advice. In searching the web for people dealing with this same issue i can tell you that you are a Knight In shining Armor! If I lived in Jersey I would gladly be your Spokesperson. Hopefully next time you hear from me it will be good news. God Bless,

Jill S.

location unknown



Whichita, KS

thanks again, this site is very helpful.


Boston, MA

Like others have stated...This site is amazing and I am so thankful that it was created.

....Keep up what your doing. Your a life saver.



Thanks again for the information provided on your site. It's easy for non-medical folk to understand your writing, and helps provide better communication between patient and doctor.



Wonderful advice

by: Anonymous

This is the best site for foot problem info.

Thank you for this information. This description fits my pain and inflammation behind my 2nd toe perfectly.

by: Max

location unknown
Again, I really appreciate that you responded to my inquiry, and that your mention of Parkinson's helped me to find my way to a diagnosis of this difficult to diagnose disease. Most patients see on average 16 doctors before they are diagnosed. I hope that you can help other people that ask for your expertise in the future.

Barb D.

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!! I have had a fusion in my rt foot and am finally getting a little bit better......


location unknown
Again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to answer my question....your an angel!


Thank you for your response. You have provided some great insight (to my question)....


location unknown
Thank-you so very much for responding so quickly and in such detail to my question!! I will give my surgeon a call today!! This website is terrific!!!! Thank-you again!


North Carolina
Many Thanks Dr Marc!
Thank you for your response. It sounds like a good plan to me. He did not cut the wart out first ...


location unknown

Thanks again doc for having this website and we STILL need qualified Podiatrists in beautiful sunny Tampa Bay (Bradenton) Florida.

Bessie Mae

Dear Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so very much for taking your time to answer my question. You have greatly relieved my anxiety related to the continual tingly I feel in my feet. I will share your response with my podiatrist next week. God bless you for having this question and answer page on your website! Most gratefully,

Lynne T.

location unknown
Your webpage is excellent, I commend you on sharing your knowledge to the public.


New Jersey

Thank you. you were more detailed than what others have told me they finally called from the last xrays and my son is now in a cast for 2 weeks he did have a fracture that was not noticeable.

a mom

location unknown

I have read your website and I have to admit that I am amazed at all the information that is on here. I have learned more than the three years I have been going to several doctors that I have seen!!


Lenoir, NC

Thank you so much Doc for a quick and thorough response!


Bellevue, WA

I cannot thank you enough for your response, opinion, and suggestions! I want you to know how much it means to me, and I'm sure everyone else who has ever asked you a question! I feel like you're a lifesaver and have empowered me to take a stronger role and stand up for myself and my feet!


location unknown

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