Fans of both American Idol and Aerosmith may have noticed that Steven Tyler has recently been getting media attention not for his singing, dancing or judging skills – but for the wild appearance of his toes! Stephen claims that the years of dancing and wearing ill-fitting, unsupportive shoes have taken their toll on his feet, which now bear a variety of deformities.
The most noticeable problem in Stephen’s feet is his overlapping and underlapping toes. The second toe of his right foot completely overlaps the big toe, or hallux, and toes three, four and five of both feet underlap the adjacent toe. Not only are underlapping and overlapping toes thought of as cosmetically unappealing, but they also can cause painful corns and calluses on the tops of the toes and make finding properly fitting shoes a challenge. Many times underlapping of the toes are a congenital deformity that is present from birth. Most commonly the fifth toe will be rotated and underlap the fourth toe, a condition specifically called digiti quinti varus. There are a variety of underlying causes of digiti quinti varus but one of the most common is a coalition, or fusion of the two bones that normally make up the fifth toe. Another common cause of underlapping and overlapping toes that develop early in life is muscle and ligament imbalances, which can often be treated by taping and bracing. When the condition develops later in life, as in Steven Tyler’s case, a tear of the plantar plate may have occurred. The plantar plate is a thickening in the capsule of the joint at the base of each two and serves as an attachment for ligaments that connect the metatarsals. When the plantar plate tears, these connections are disrupted and the involved toe may deviate over another and metatarsalgia, or pain in the forefoot, and swelling may develop.
Tyler has also complained of a history of Morton’s neuroma contributing to the painful state of his feet over the years. A neuroma is an enlargement of a nerve that typically results from irritation to that nerve. A Morton’s neuroma is found between the third and fourth toes that is the most common location of a neuroma in the foot. Metatarsalgia, tingling and burning pain are common complaints of those suffering from a neuroma. Neuromas may be treated by your podiatrist with injection of corticosteroids to decrease pain and swelling, or surgery to excise the painful neuroma. To avoid Steven’s neuromas and toe deformities, be sure to keep your feet in rock and roll shape with supportive shoes and regular checkups with your podiatrist at the first signs of problems!
Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.