6 Symptoms of Arthritis in the Toes

If you are feeling pain and discomfort in your big toe, you may have a foot ailment known as toe arthritis. Today, William F. Buffone, DPM of North Fork Podiatry and Three Village Podiatry discusses what you can do if you are suffering from this condition.

What is toe arthritis?

Toe arthritis is caused by swelling of the toe joint and typically attacks the big toe. Past traumas or injuries - such as a broken or sprained toe - can eventually lead to arthritis.

Risk factors include aging, being overweight and a family history of arthritis. Women who wear snug-fitting, high-heeled shoes most of the time may also be at a higher risk for toe arthritis.

Following are 6 of the most common symptoms of this condition:

1. Pain: Pain in the toes (or only the big toe) is often the first obvious symptom of arthritis. The degree of pain can vary depending on the level of deterioration in the joint and can make everyday tasks challenging.

2. Stiffness: Arthritis eventually wears away at the cartilage between the toes, making the joints rigid and difficult to move. With less cushioning, joints become resistant to bending and stretching.

3. Inflammation: All forms of arthritis cause swelling in the joint, which can result in visible inflammation. In some cases, the toes may turn red and feel warm to the touch.

4. Popping and clicking sounds: These sounds are caused by the corrosion of the cartilage that usually supports the bones in a joint. When this happens, the bones may rub against one another, causing these sounds.

5. Changes in the appearance of the toe: As the cartilage disintegrates, the body tries to rectify the condition by creating more bone. This can make it look larger, or like it has a big bump on it, similar to a bunion.

6. Pain when walking: You may find yourself adjusting your gait as you try to put less weight on your toes. Unfortunately, this can have an effect on the rest of your body, causing back or hip pain, weight gain, and other issues.

If you think you may have arthritis in your feet or toes, schedule an appointment today with William F. Buffone, DPM by calling Three Village Podiatry at

(631) 474-3338, North Fork Podiatry (Southold) at (631) 765-6777 or North Fork Podiatry (Riverhead) at (631) 419-7107.

We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs and welcome the opportunity to discuss your treatment options.