The reason one toe lies on top of another can be hard to pin down if the deformity is present at birth. Some believe it can develop from the baby’s position in the womb; others point out the heredity factor, since it often runs in families.
Other causes of overlapping toes may be the foot arch type you inherit, which can cause toes to move out of position and overlap an adjacent one (as when a bunion develops). Diseases like arthritis can also cause bones in a joint to move out of position, and diabetes and neurological conditions can cause nerve damage that results in a muscle imbalance in the toes.
Then there are injuries, such as a fracture, dislocation, or tendon tear that doesn’t heal correctly. Cramming your toes into tight shoes that force the toes out of position can also make them more likely to lift up and over another toe.
If your overlapping toe is causing discomfort and making it difficult to walk, please set up an appointment with Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona online or by calling (480) 963-9000 for our Chandler, AZ office or (480) 981-1800 in Gilbert.