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Published on August 17th, 2011 | by Papa Doc

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Ask A Doctor: Help! I’m growing a sixth toe!

Q: What is the best way to avoid getting the 6th toe?
NameLes, Gotham Girls Roller Derby

A: A bunion is a hard bony bump that forms on the side of the great toe. The causes are: abnormal foot shape where the great toe points toward the little toe (this can be present from birth or develop from injury), wearing high-heel shoes, wearing footwear that has a pointed toe or that is too tight, and damage from arthritis.

Risk factors that can be controlled are the fit of footwear and avoiding high heels (over 2 1/4 inches). So wearing properly-fitted foot gear with a boxy toe and good arch support will help to prevent the problem. If the great toe points to the side, padding and taping can straighten it to reduce progression. Shoe inserts can be fitted to relieve the pain; you may need the help of a podiatrist.

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