Who’s Morton and What’s He Got to Do with Your Toes?

“Morton” is a name you’ll hear when podiatrists Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts describe certain toe problems. There are two conditions that take the name of early 20th-century American orthopedic surgeon Dudley Joy Morton:

Morton’s toe
If a person’s second toe is longer than their big toe, they’re said to have Morton’s toe. About 20% of the population has Morton’s toe. It’s more prevalent in women than in men. There’s nothing inherently bad about this particular toe configuration. However, it can affect the way you walk. For this reason, Morton’s toe may eventually lead to calluses, toe deformities such as hammertoes, metatarsalgia (ball of foot pain), and neuromas.

If you’ve got Morton’s toe, one of the most important things you can do to prevent foot pain is to wear shoes with a wide toe box. In addition, make sure your shoes are long enough to accommodate the second toe. If Morton’s toe does cause you pain, we can prescribe custom toe pads or orthotic inserts to help align your foot and reduce any pressure on the ball.

Morton’s neuroma

A neuroma is a growth that forms around a nerve in your toe. When the tissue surrounding the nerve is repeatedly irritated, it thickens and forms a non-cancerous mass or tumor. What can cause such irritation? —

  • shoes that are too tight in the toe area
  • high heels that put much of your weight on the ball and toes
  • injury to the nerves
  • a biomechanical issue – excessive pressure on a nerve due to the way you’re walking

Morton’s neuroma is fairly common, even among people without Morton’s toe. If you’re experiencing pain, tingling, numbness, or swelling in your toes or forefoot that gets worse when you walk, make an appointment with Montgomery Foot Care Specialists. Dr. Christie and Dr. Day-Houts provide top-quality care, expert diagnosis, and prompt treatment of your foot pain. Call us in Montgomery, Alabama at (334) 396-3668 or make an appointment online.