Keep active, Seniors!
Crossover toe is a common foot problem that can inhibit physical activity for older Americans, but outpatient surgery can correct the deformity and keep senior citizens active and on their feet.
Individuals with hammertoes, bunions or a second toe that extends beyond the big toe are most susceptible to developing crossover toe as they age, according to Jonathan Bennett DPM, one of our wonderful foot and ankle surgeons at Orange County Foot & Ankle Group.
“It’s a common problem among older people in which the second toe gradually moves across the big toe," he says. "It can be painful and, therefore, difficult to walk comfortably or pursue an active lifestyle.”
Bennett says the first symptom of crossover toe is pain in the ball of the foot. A tear in the joint makes the second toe unstable. It falls out of alignment and eventually drifts.
The doctors at OC Foot & Ankle Group normally check the ball of the foot for a possible plantar-plate tear when an older patient complains of pain in the area. Pre-existing forefoot problems combined with normal wear and tear or possible trauma can cause the plate to tear over time.
“If the pain persists and the toe starts to drift, surgery is recommended to suture the plantar plate or replace it through a tendon-transfer,” Bennett says.
Surgery to correct crossover toe is an outpatient procedure performed with a local anesthesia. Patients with bunions or hammertoes are advised to have those deformities corrected during the surgery. Recovery time is about six weeks.
"If you're an older adult with persistent pain in the ball of your foot, it's in your best interest to see a doctor," says Dr. Bennett "If your foot hurts, you aren't exercising, and your cardiovascular health nosedives."
Learn more about common outpatient surgeries in our Podiatry Education Library.