A doctor bandaging a patient's big toe

How to Make Your Big Toe Smaller

Table of Contents

An overly large big toe is more than an aesthetic issue – it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort and snowball into other, more severe foot conditions. Luckily, there is a simple solution to how to make your big toe smaller, and you can find it in toe shortening surgery. This article will provide you with all you need to know about this procedure and its effectiveness.

Can You Make a Big Toe Smaller? 

The toe shortening procedure is usually performed on an excessively long second toe (so-called Morton’s toe) but can be used to shorten any other toe, including the big toe. Overly long toes are usually hereditary conditions, but they can interfere with a person’s everyday life and cause pain and discomfort during certain activities. They can also lead to the formation of other foot conditions, such as corns or calluses

Since there are no conventional methods to make a big toe smaller, many people decide to explore some benefits of toe shortening surgery in order to achieve their aesthetic and functional goals. 

Who Is a Good Candidate for Toe Shortening Procedure?

Ideal candidates for big toe shortening procedures are all those with good overall health who wish to improve their self-confidence regarding the look of their feet and reduce the pain their long big toe is causing. However, patients still need to book a consultation with their chosen surgeons to determine if the surgery is possible and what are its realistic outcomes. 

A surgeon preparing for a foot surgery

What Should You Expect During the Procedure?

Toe-shortening surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, which means it will be over quickly, and you’ll be able to go home the same day. Usually, surgeons use local analgesics – you won’t be under general anesthesia, but you won’t be able to feel any pain during the procedure. 

The surgeon will make a small incision to access the bone and then use one of two proven toe shortening techniques – joint resection or bone fusion. That means that they will either remove a part or the whole joint in order to make a big toe smaller. In some cases, wires or special types of implants will be used during the toe shortening surgery recovery that will keep the big toe in the right position.

Keep in mind that some people with other foot problems, such as bunions, opt for combining several cosmetic procedures at the same time. Bunion surgery and toe shortening procedure are, for example, often combined in a procedure named Cinderella foot surgery. 

How Long Is the Recovery Process?

The healing time differs from one patient to another and can depend on several different factors, such as the severity of a toe deformity and the method used during the procedure. At the same, note that some factors can prolong the recovery process, such as certain medical conditions, age, malnutrition, or smoking.

However, the usual time needed for a toe to heal is approximately six weeks. You’ll be able to go back to your usual daily activities in just a couple of weeks, but you should remember to take breaks and rest to let your toe heal. 

Are There Any Possible Risks and Complications?

Although performed as a minimally invasive procedure, there are some toe shortening surgery risks to be aware of (as with any other type of surgery), such as infection, nerve damage, and bleeding. However, the more experienced team you choose, the less likely healing issues will occur. Of course, if you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to talk them through with your doctor. 

Discuss How to Make Your Big Toe Smaller With Your Miami Surgeon

If you wish to make your big toe smaller, it would be best to schedule an appointment with a reliable medical team, such as Luxe Foot Surgery, to discuss your condition, options, as well as long-term effects of a toe-shortening. Our team of experts will be happy to examine your feet and provide all the information you need to know about the surgery, pre-operative care, and recovery process. Therefore, when you’re ready, feel free to contact us and book your free consultation. 


What Causes a Large Big Toe?

Long toes are usually hereditary conditions, which means that people who have them usually inherit them. However, keep in mind that a big toe may appear long simply because other toes are short in comparison. On the other hand, you should also consider there are conditions that can make a big toe swollen, such as bunions, gout, or even fracture. 

Do Big Toes Get Bigger as You Age?

Big toes don’t keep growing as we age, but that doesn’t mean that our feet don’t change over time. As people get older, they become more prone to certain foot conditions such as hammer toe or bunions. These changes can affect the size and shape of your feet, but it’s important to note they don’t occur due to the long toe bone growth.

Can I Reshape My Big Toe?

Whether you have bunions on the sides of your big toes or it appears crooked or too long, it’s important to know that you can reshape them with the help of the right surgical technique. However, it’s important you find a reliable surgeon with plenty of experience with the procedures you want to get. Better quality services will not only lower the chance of negative side effects but are more likely to provide you with successful long-term effects of the surgery.

Do Big Toes Keep Growing?

Big toes, as well as feet, stop growing after adolescence, usually at the age of 20 or 21. However, as a person gets older, the shape of their feet can change due to excessive use or inappropriate footwear. It can lead to many different foot deformities, such as claw toes and bunions. 


  1. Foot First. Can you Shorten the Big Toe? [Internet]. Foot First. [Accessed on April 21, 2023]. Available from: https://www.footfirst.com/blog/2022/5/17/can-you-shorten-the-big-toe
  2. Healthline. Swollen Big Toe [Internet]. Healthline. [Accessed on April 21, 2023]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/swollen-toe
  3. UChicago Medicine. Do our feet change in middle age? [Internet]. UChicago Medicine. [Accessed on April 21, 2023]. Available from: https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/orthopaedics-articles/do-our-feet-change-in-middle-age#


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