What are the signs of toe problems?

Toe symptoms include pain, numbness, weakness, stiffness, swelling, or problems moving the toes. The symptoms may be constant or variable and may improve or worsen with movement. If toe pain is present, it may be described as sharp, dull, stabbing, burning or throbbing and may range in intensity from mild to severe.

Toe symptoms can result from damage or injury to any of the structures in the toes, including bones, joints, tendons, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, connective tissue, skin, or toenails. Arthritis and other types of degenerative joint disease are among the most common causes of toe symptoms. In some cases, toe symptoms may be related to a chronic underlying disease that affects other regions of the body. Simple problems, such as poorly fitting shoes, can also lead to temporary, acute toe symptoms.

Diseases or conditions that affect the nerves and muscles, such as peripheral neuropathy (a disorder that causes dysfunction of nerves that lie outside your brain and spinal cord), can be associated with symptoms that involve both the legs and toes. Disorders of the spine, such as infection, fracture, tumor, or disc disease, often produce symptoms in the legs and toes. Infections of the nails, bone, or skin and underlying tissue are further causes of toe symptoms.

The duration and course of toe symptoms vary widely, depending on the cause. Symptoms caused by injury often have a sudden onset, whereas toe symptoms resulting from diseases and disorder, such as arthritis or peripheral neuropathy, develop slowly and persist or worsen over time.

The sudden onset of weakness or numbness in the toes, especially if it occurs on only one side of the body, can be a sign of stroke. Also, in rare cases, infections of the bone or skin and soft tissues of the toe can spread throughout the body, resulting in shock and organ failure. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, such as an extremely severe headache, high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), paralysis or inability to move a body part, or a change in level of consciousness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness. Also seek immediate medical care (call 911) for toe injuries that involve profuse bleeding or tissue damage.

If your toe injury or condition is persistent, recurrent, or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with toe symptoms?

Toe symptoms may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the toes and feet may also involve other body systems.... Read more about toe symptomssymptoms

CAUSES

What causes toe symptoms?

Injury or damage to the toes can cause toe symptoms. Diseases that affect the entire body, such as diabetes, arthritis, or vascular disease, can also lead to toe symptoms.... Read more about toe symptomscauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Bones, Joints and Muscles


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