Polydactyly is actually one of the most common malformations affecting as many as 1 in every 1,000 babies born today. The condition is most often related to genetics, but some research suggests that environmental factors could contribute to the development of extra fingers or toes during pregnancy. While extra toes may seem like no big deal, occasionally, these little extra limbs can cause problems. Here is a look at a few things that can come up when you have extra toes.
Problems Finding Properly Fitting Shoes
One of the biggest challenges people with extra toes have is the fact that it can be relatively difficult to find shoes that fit properly. Shoes are obviously designed for people with five toes. A six-toed foot can be substantially wider than the average foot, and the added toes can be in unusual spots, such as along the side of the big toe or seated slightly overlapping other toes.
Disruptions in Balance or Walking Form
In certain polydactyly cases, the added toe can cause a disruption in how an individual holds their balance or how they walk. For instance, an added toe that points in a more downward position may have the individual walking in an unusual way to avoid putting pressure on the toe. While having extra toes may sound like it would mean you have better balance, the opposite is often true. Many people with added toes have issues with an imbalanced stance, specifically, if the toe is in an odd place or one foot has an extra toe and the other does not.
Injury to the Extra Toe
Depending on where the added digit is located, it can be more prone to injury. For example, an individual with a nubbin (extra toe with little or no bone structure) on the side of their pinky toe can have issues with hitting the nubbin or catching it on things. Injuries to extra toes can be just as concerning as injuries to other toes. Infection is common with foot injuries and healing times can be a bit slower.
Talk to a Podiatrist in Austin, TX About Polydactyly Problems
If you have an extra toe or more on your foot as an adult, chances are your parents chose to not have the toe(s) removed when you were born. Reach out to us to discuss how we may be able to help with your extra toes and the problems they can cause. Contact the office of Dr. Jeffrey Lamour, DPM, PA to schedule an appointment.