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The Doctors Lounge - Orthopedics Answers

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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Orthopedic Topics

Question: Small toe pain

richie - Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:27 pm

Hello: Last night I started to get an unusual pain in my left small toe, it has been hurting on and off and I do not recall hitting it, I have been wearing conferrable shoes and have not changed them for a while. This is a mystery to me since I have never felt this type of pain, the only thing I think it could be is Gout since I have the eating habits that would make me potential to Gout, also I have British blood all around. But Gout is usually manifested in the big toe at first and in older people (Iím 24). What else do you think this pain could be?

P. S: I was recently operated with general anesthesia for a wisdom teeth removal.

Thank you
Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:50 pm


Pain in the toe can arise from different causes ranging from accidental trauma to neurological and vascular conditions.

-Gouty Arthritis, although affects mainly the big toe, it can start with any other joint. The signs and symptoms of Gout are almost always acute, occurring suddenly often at night and without warning.

-Ingrown nails :patients have a painful, swollen, and tender toe.

Other unlikely causes include:
-Osteoarthritis affects mainly big toe and in older age.
-Raynaud's phenomenon:is a vasospastic disorder causing discoloration of the fingers, toes, and occasionally other extremities
-Erythromelalgia is a rare disorder that affects the extremities and especially in the feet, in which blood vessels blocked and inflamed, causing a painful burning and throbbing sensation and red skin and tend to be worse in summer.

Direct clinical examination is essential.
Best regards.
Dr. Paula Fontaine - Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:49 pm

Pain in the small toe could results from a number of issues:
Do you have any new lesions on the toe (corns or calluses?).
You said you have not switched shoes recently but do the shoes you have squeeze your toes at all? Occasionally nerve damage can result from ill-fitted shoes and can last for weeks or months after the offending shoes have been discarded.
Another possibility could be Arthritis in the toe. Xrays would help to determine if there is Arthritis , fracture, or other problems with the bones in your toe that could be causing pain.
Although Gout is not out of the question, its unusual to find it only in a small toe. Symptoms of Gout are a red, hot , swollen toe that is extremely tender (some patients cannot stand even the bedsheet to touch the area).
Hope this helps. Good luck! PAF

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