What Is Capsulitis Of The Second Toe And How Is It Caused?

The condition of capsulitis develops in the joint’s outer lining, known as a joint capsule. So now we know where it derives the term from. Capsulitis causes inflammation in the affected area. And more often than not, this is the forefoot region such a condition forms capsulitis of the second toe.

So what do we know about the condition? What are its causes and symptoms? And most importantly, how do we go about treating it?

Let’s discuss every important aspect of capsulitis in detail below.

Capsulitis Of The Second Toe

Capsulitis of The Second Toe: What is It?

For the proper functioning of toe joints, there are ligaments located at the bottom. These ligaments surround the toe joint to create a capsule-like layer. So when the ligaments found in the second toe become inflamed, they give rise to capsulitis.

The condition can affect the fourth and third toes as well. But the chances of developing capsulitis in the second toe are higher than the other two toes.

What the inflammation does is cause severe discomfort. It can also lead to weakening the ligaments, which results in toe dislocation. But this only happens if you don’t treat the condition soon enough.

You should also know that capsulitis has another medical term. It’s called predislocation syndrome. And it can affect people of any age.

Capsulitis, Dr. Mark Green, Kansas City Foot and Ankle, KCMO, Overland Park and Olathe

Capsulitis of the Second Toe: Causes

Abnormal or unnatural foot mechanics are a common cause of capsulitis in the second toe. At such times, the ball of the foot that falls under your toe joint gets subjected to excessive pressure.

This happens when you have a serious bunion deformity or when your big toe is smaller than the second toe. It can also occur if your calf muscles are too tight or if you have an unstable arch.

How to Avoid Foot Pain in the Ball of the Foot | Foot Care


  • Severe pain in the ball of the foot.
  • Considerable swelling around the same region.
  • ​Wearing shoes will not be an easy task.
  • Walking barefoot will seem like a painful activity.

When the condition gets worse, the ligaments tend to weaken. This keeps the joint from stabilizing the second toe, which causes it to shift and cross over your big toe. So what you’re left with is a crossover toe, which is the last stage of the condition. And it can get extremely painful if not treated immediately.

Non-Surgical Treatment of Capsulitis in The Second Toe

It’s important that you treat the condition before the second toe crosses over your big toe. Up until then, non-surgical procedures are an excellent way to provide joint stabilization. These approaches can also help in reducing symptoms. While also eliminating the primary cause of capsulitis.

So let’s find out what these non-surgical treatment methods are.

Resting and Ice Application

It’s important that you use the affected foot as little as possible. And ice packs go a long way in reducing pain and swelling. The best way to go about it is to place a towel between your skin and the ice. You can do this for 15-20 minutes with a gap of 40 minutes between two consecutive applications.

Oral Medications

NSAIDS like Ibuprofen are great for minimizing inflammation and relieving pain.


Taping the toe prevents it from shifting or acquiring an incorrect position. It also does an excellent job at decreasing the amount of pain. While also preventing any further drifting.


Capsulitis foot exercises are suitable for patients with tight muscles. These are present in the calf region. Stretching is important as it helps in minimizing the tightness of the muscles.

Wearing Proper Footwear

The best shoes for capsulitis are those that come with stiff soles. What they do is reduce the excessive pressure falling on the ball of your foot. These types of insoles also go a long way in controlling the foot motion.

Buying Orthotic Devices

Orthotic inserts are perfect for providing arch support and distributing the excessive weight. These come in the form of customized shoe inserts or capsulitis foot pads.

Surgical Treatment of Capsulitis in the Second Toe

When do you need surgery? You should know that once your second toe crosses over the big toe, it stays in that position. At least until you undergo surgery. Depending on the severity of your condition, the podiatrist will treat the capsulitis. He or she will recommend the most suitable procedure to get rid of the disorder.


So now you know the causes and symptoms of capsulitis in the second toe. The non-surgical treatment methods are also discussed above. It’s important to treat the disorder as soon as you spot the early symptoms. Failing to do so will only lead to worsening the condition, which leaves surgery as the only option. And we all know how expensive those things are, right?

So did you go through the symptoms section? Is there anything else that you would like to add here? Please feel free to do so. You can leave your feedback in the comments section below.


1. https://www.foothealthfacts.org/conditions/capsulitis-of-the-second-toe

2. http://www.drfoot.co.uk/MTP-Joint-Capsulitis.htm

3. http://www.foot-pain-explained.com/capsulitis.html

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: