The pinky toe (also known as the little toe) is a vital part of the foot’s ability to balance and sense movement. The pinky toe’s location on the edge of the foot, however, leaves it vulnerable to injury and can be affected by a variety of conditions such as sprains, bunions and corns. The causes of a crooked pinky toe can vary depending on the severity, but in all cases a crooked pinky toe should be evaluated by a podiatrist to avoid future complications and ensure proper healing.
A fracture to the 5th metatarsal bone, also known as a pinky toe fracture, can occur due to repetitive stress on the little toe or sudden impact such as a twisted ankle. A pinky toe sprain can result from wearing tight shoes or participating in high impact activities that cause the little toe to be forced into an unnatural position such as running or basketball. A sprained pinky toe can be accompanied by pain, swelling, bruising and an inability to bear weight.
An overlapping pinky toe is sometimes inherited and may have been caused by compression of the toes while in the womb or as a consequence of repetitive stresses on the toe from shoes with narrow toe boxes. Approximately 25% of babies are born with a crooked pinky toe and spontaneously recover without medical intervention. In some cases, a crooked toe can develop into a hammer toe or bunion as the joint ages.