Capsulitis of the Second Toe


Capsulitis of the second toe is a common condition which typically results from an acute injury or chronic overload of the second toe joint. Pain is typically felt at the base of the second toe with weight bearing activities.

Long-Term Effects

If left untreated, capsulitis of the second toe may lead to a weakening of the surrounding ligaments resulting in dislocation of the toe. The condition has also been termed pre-dislocation syndrome.



The condition is progressive and does usually worsen if left untreated. Symptoms early on may include numbness and swelling at the base of the toe, pain when walking barefooted and difficulty wearing shoes with a heel. In chronic cases pain may become more severe, the toe may begin to cross over the great toe and a painful callus may develop at the ball of the foot.


What to Expect When You See the Doctor

The diagnosis is usually based on clinical examination. Accurate diagnosis is important because the condition may mimic another common condition such as a Morton's neuroma. X-rays or MRI may be recommended to further evaluate position of the toe or stability of the joint.



Your doctor may recommend a course of immobilization, anti-inflammatory medications or orthotics for management. Surgical intervention is reserved for non-responsive cases. Your physician may recommend correction of contributing deformities such as a bunion. Surgery does entail correction of the position of the toe, any associated deformity, and/or repair of the injured joint capsule.


We Can Help!

Are you suffering from capsulitis of the second toe? We have years of experience treating this condition and would be happy to help. Contact us or book an appointment today.

South Denver Podiatry
7780 S. Broadway, Suite 190
Littleton, CO 80122
Phone: 720-279-8076
Fax: (720) 398-8424
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