As small as the pinkie toe is, pain in it can be debilitating. There are many causes of pinkie toe pain, the most common being hitting it accidentally on a hard surface. Other causes of pinkir toe include Heloma Molle (soft corns), Heloma Durum (hard corns), bunion (bunionnettes), bone spurs, bruises or fractures.
The Video below provides you with a guide that you can follow to help diagnose the cause of your pinky toe pain. If you hit your toe and you are unsure of whether it is broken, fractured, bruised, only an X-ray is the only sure way to know! Visit your Podiatrist!!!
Causes of pinky toe pain:
1. Broken Pinky Toe or Bruised Pinky Toe (a comparison)
- Feel for a deformity – if it is uneven it is a broken toe.
- Wiggling your toe- if no severe pain or rubbing/popping sound, may not be a break.
- If your toe is extremely swollen (2x the size)- it may be broken.
- Compare that toe to your other foot, if it looks shorter or bent – it may be broken.
- Check your temperature- after a break you are more likely to have the surrounding area inflammed.
- The only way to know 100% is to go visit your foot doctor or podiatrist!
2. Skin Problems
Calluses are thick patches of skin that appear in sites of friction against the shoe, the floor or any other part of the foot. The danger is a blister can form underneath the callus!
A corn looks like a little pebble that can form, they usually even occur with a callus around them. This can be exceptionally painful.
Follow our at home pain relief guides, how to trim your nails properly and even how to remove them permanently.
These occur from stubbing your toe, so learn how to deal with them properly! Is it broken or is it just bruised, find out with this guide.
3. Bone and Joint Problems:
Little Toe Bunion (Bunionette)
This is when you toe looks really big and as if though its popping out at the base.
This is when you have a crooked or curved toe.
The fifth metatarsal is the long bone shown below that connects to the little toe. Any damage to this bones can cause pain on the outside of the foot. There are different types of fifth metatarsal fractures that can occur; Jones fracture and avulsion fractures. Other causes of pain on the outside of the foot and in the pinkie toe area can include a Styloid Process Protrusion and Os Vesalanium.
A Jones Fracture occurs in the small area of the fifth metatarsal as shown in the photo above. This area of the does not receive a large blood supply. It is therefore difficult to heal. A Jones fracture can be a stress fracture (hairlike fracture) or can be broken suddenly and more severely. It can occur due to repetitive stress or trauma on the side of the foot or as the result of injury.
As the photo above demonstrates, an avulsion fracture occurs when the smallest section of the fifth metatarsal is pulled off as the result of an injury. This type of fracture accompanies in conjunction with ankle sprains and are often overlooked.
Cavus Foot- Styloid Process Protrusion
As the photo below show, the Styloid Process is the protrusion is a the end of the fifth metatarsal bone. If this bone protrudes, it will cause pain because it will increase the likelihood of friction between the skin and the shoes (the area will likely be callused) and a bunion may form.
The Os Vesalanium is an accessory bone at the base of the fifth metatarsal. In the majority of cases, its presence is asymptomatic. However, in some cases it becomes symptomatic and cause pain on the side of the foot.
Other Common Causes of Pain in the Small Toes:
Ball of the foot:
- Morton’s Neuralgia
- Metatarsal stress fracture
- Predislocation Syndrome
- Turf Toe
- Flexor Tendonitis
- Dislocated Toe
For more on Broken Pinkie Toe Pain: