The Lowdown On Toe Shortening

You may have heard of toe shortening, an elective procedure that surgically straightens and shortens the length of the toes by removing portions of the bone.

Many women are opting to undergo this surgery for dubious reasons, simply because their feet do not properly fit into trendy shoes, or their toes hang over the edge of their sandals. However, if intense pain and distress from foot deformities effect you every day, you may be a candidate for some form of surgery.

It is important to consider the risks associated with this procedure and weigh your options, especially if you're considering it for cosmetic reasons. After toe shortening, chances are your feet will remain swollen for almost six months, if not longer, because it is very hard for feet to drain fluid. Compression in shoes is virtually impossible, and there is a possibility that your toes will appear wider than before due to drainage complications.

Have you gotten toe-shortening surgery? Do you want to? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Popular Now

Sort comments by most recent
  • Sort comments by most recent
  • Sort comments by oldest
  • Denise

    I am 20 years old and i absolutely hate my toes. I dont know why i was born with these kind of toes. It makes me want to cry sometimes, everyone tells me oh theyre fine you have nice feet and always say something nice but it does not matter cuz i still feel bad and i dont wear sandals to go out either and if i do i try to hide my toes, theyre so embarrassing i feel like every one just stares at them and i hate it so much i wish i had money to do surgery but I dont, unfortunately.

    Posted on
  • Jes

    I'm having this surgery next Friday. My left foot will have the second and third toe shortened and screws will be added. Only my third toe on my right will be done. My pain is different from what I have read. I have a huge painful callus under each foot where I step that causes pain when I walk and I'm a waitress! Doing this surgery will lift my toes causing the pressure to betaken off the area the callus forms.

    Posted on
  • tee

    I just had toe shortening surgery on my 2nd toe on my left foot because it's long and I have corns on my feet. I came across Dr. Keys of oak park, Illinois. I love him and his staff. His toe surgery is on 20 mins and you will be able to walk after without a boot. You never have to worry about missing work because of surgery.

    Posted on
  • Lilly Longtoe

    I need advice -- should I get toe-shortening surgery? Picture of feet here:

    Posted on
  • Cathy

    I has the middle toe on my left foot lay completely on its side. I couldn't straighten it even with my hands. It was always crooked but got worse over the years. The fourth toe my left foot was also turning on its side. One podiatrist told me the middle toe was a birth defect. I always had to put bandaids on my toes to keep from getting blisters. The bottom of my foot would hurt sometimes and the top part of my foot hurt. I am not sure if this was because of my toes. I had surgery and a permanent screw put in each toe. I worry about it now that it is done, but I believed I would have real problems down the road, I am 57, and I believed I would have real issues as time went on. My middle toe really got worse in the last two years. My toes didn't hurt, but my foot was beginning to hurt. I have done real well and I want to know if anyone else had screws put in toes to straighten them and how everything has gone for them. It has only been 4 weeks and I have very little swelling. My toes are sore and tender, but not in pain. Just a little throbbing and pain. What can I expect further down the road. Will I be able to hike, do aerobics, spin classes, and function normally?

    Posted on
  • Elisa

    I have since as long I can remember been emberrased about my feet. In my age of 52 I finally did something about it. I had bunions on both feet, my right one bigger than the other. It was starting to bother me and was painful in any shoes beside sneakers. So now Im ten days into recovery. I had both bunions removed, and straightened and shortened all toes besides the pinky toes. They were only straightened. I have changed the bandages once and got to see them for the first time after surgery. What a difference! I am so happy I have done it. All these situations that I have avoided because of my feet. I was always hiding my feet in any social setting in the summertime. How sad it sounds. And to the ones who never experienced this themselves,,,its not even an option to just take a pedicure,,,and nobody will even look at your feet,, and those kind of statements. This is just not for everybody. I have no problem to encourage others with the same problems to do something about it. It is painful, absolutely, but already starting to feel like its well worth it. Now that the pain is less intense, I think of situations that I can be comfortable in now. The shoes I can buy,,,flip flops...Nice. Good luck with decisionmaking about it. Nobody but you knows what is best.

    Posted on
  • Foot fetish guy

    I had surgery but its not what o expected and not happy with results

    Posted on
  • Avena

    I am considering toe shortening because I am experiencing pain. My second toe is about a quarter inch longer then my big toe. I just want to address some of the comments I read especially from the girls If you have a decent figure and face, nobody is focusing in on your feet unless of course they have a foot obsession which I do not feel is normal. Nobody ever mentioned that my second toe is longer or my feet disgust them. You could end up with nerve damage or worse.

    Posted on
  • anonymous

    Can anybody recommend a great doctor?

    Posted on
  • anonymous

    Since the age of 6 I have been dreaming of a surgery for my toe. I told myself I would be the first to ever come up with that procedure. Now I am 32 and my big toe is extra long, at least an inch longer than the others and extremely wide, and also pushes inwards. So embarrassing. I avoid pool parties, the beach, taking a marital arts or anything where I have to expose my feet and I feel like it holds me back from enjoying some aspects of my life. Whenever I am invited to someone's house and I know they don't allow shoes, I don't even go or bring socks with me if I'm not wearing any. My big toe has definately lower my confidence and I think about it all the time, esp when the summer comes and everyone is wearing cute sandals or open toes shoes and I have to wear flats or sneakers that doesn't even go with my summer outfits half the time. I don't care about the side effects, I am definately getting the procedure done and I can't wait

    Posted on
  • lyn g.

    I had foot surgery in January 2011 and could'nt be happier with the doctor was amazing and my feet look so 2nd and third toes were longer than my big toe and I had corns on all of them and my pinky was turned they are all even and getting smaller every day...can wear any shoe I want and feel like they were the feet that I was always meant to have...I did eight toes at once and took about 2 months before I walked normally but could walk before that just a bit slower...only advice is to find a good doctor and keep feet elevated as much as you can...btw..I had pins in all toes...never bothered me and did not hurt when taken out....good luck to anyone having this done...SO WORTH IT...

    Posted on
  • Stereo Feet

    About 10 or 20 years ago a doctor ended my hammertoes by taking my tendons out of both my feet. Not only can I bend my toes...I went from a size 11 shoe to a 12 shoe. I have problems buying shoe all the time...the toe surgery is the best thing I think for me..If I could just find a doctor to fix it...I'd be happy..and normal.

    Posted on
  • sarah

    I have the same problem with my feet. My 2nd and 3rd toe are longer than my bigg toe and if i wear sandalls or high hills my 2nd toe sticks out bad and i hate that cause i love hills alot, just not on me though cause it looks ugly:( i also have some callus and minor bunions. i dont like my feet at all and im a teen andd i cant wear cute sandalls or hills and i dont like walking bare foot around people and when i do im self cautious. i wish i could get surgery so i can feel confident about my feet and where what i like wearing. i always wish i they will change but they with a wish i just want my feet to be normal.

    Posted on
  • dw

    My second toe is longer...has a big blob on the just plain ugly! Not to mention hard to find shoes...they all slope down as if everyone's big toe is longest with the others stair stepping down in length. I'm seriously thinking about surgery as they get uglier with each passing year & the shoes just don't fit right. I wear flip-flops in summer but am extremely self-conscious about my ugle feet.

    Posted on
  • amanda

    My boyfriend loves his feet and is always bragging about how his feet are perfect and blah blah blah. Well, we have ben dating for 6 months and I havent let him see my feet once. My 2nd and 3rd toes are bigger than my big toe. my big toe has huge calluses on the side which makes it very hard to stay on my feet for as long as I do at work, it is very uncomfortable. I have bunnions, I wish there was some way I could afford to have this surgery done so i feel comfortable and am not in pain everyday, because its so hard to find shoes that dont hurt.

    Posted on
  • saddev

    Yes I hate wearing any open toe sandals but cant ever find any cute closed toe slip on sandals.. Any one no's where i can find some at???

    Posted on
  • anon

    How very strange that your description of your feet sounds as though you are discribing mine. I have EXACTLY the same issues, my right is the worst, the 2nd and 3rd toes are so long, probably the same length and longer than my big toe, and the two smaller toes curl under. The long toes rub on any shoes I wear, and I curl them to hide them but it just looks stranger. My left foot is not as bad, the two smaller toes curl under, the middle toe points to the left at the top, and the second toe again is long. I hate my feet I think they are hideous, and they cause me a lot of pain in shoes. I cant get the next size up because they slip off, but my size hurt my toes... depressing

    Posted on
  • I am so unhappy with my feet and have been for as long as I can remember. On my left foot my two smallest toes curl under towards my others, my middle toe bends left at the op joint and my second toe is long. My right foot is the worst. My two smallest do the same and my second and middle are very long. They get very scrunched up automatically and it causes much rubbing and soreness, and the tips are always sore after a days work from rubbing. I am so so ashamed of my feet and would never dream of wearing shoes that expose them. i would love to fix them in some way without surgery but i doubt this is possible.

    Posted on