Can You Walk Without a Big Toe? [Living with a Big Toe Amputation]

If you have a big toe amputation, Don’t Lose HOPE! We answer if you can walk without a big toe, the best big toe amputation shoes & MORE!
Can you walk without a big toe?

Big toe amputation healing time:

  • We will does tell patients that the average healing time for a big toe amputation takes about 2-3 weeks for the skin to heal.
  • It takes a further 6-8 weeks total until you are able to walk normally in a pair of shoes again without swelling or drainage problem.
  • This healing time could be slower due to the health conditions which may have contributed to your big toe amputation in the first place.

Amputation of the big toe recovery time factors:

If the patient has the following conditions time could be slower:

  • Type 1 diabetes with peripheral neuropathy.
  • Type 2 diabetes with peripheral neuropathy.
  • Peripheral arterial disease.
  • Chronic smoking.
  • History of slow healing wounds.
  • Autoimmune disorders.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Kidney problems that have led to dialysis.
  • Knee back and hip issues that cause problems.
  • History of poor mobility.
  • An inability to walk before this injury.
  • The need to work a standup job.
  • Alcohol use or abuse.
  • Drug use or abuse.
can you walk without a big toe

Can you walk if your big toe is amputated?

  • Yes it is possible to walk without a big toe after a big toe amputation.
  • They have performed lots of studies and while it does slow down your athletic ability, people are able to walk 6 city blocks with a minimal loss of function.
  • You are able to walk without a big toe, but this does mean all your other joints like you ankle, knee and hip do have to pick up the increased workload.
  • Studies have shown that some people are not able to compensate well if they have poor muscle mass, if they are over weight and if they have poor flexibility.
  • Obviously this would be better assisted with a good orthotic and a good pair of podiatrist recommended shoes.

Can a person walk without a (big toe expectations):

  • In our experience, a people who are more likely to have an amputated big toe joint are more likely to not require significant athletic levels.
  • When we talk about walking, we are talking about things like going on a vacation or going on a long walk to the grocery store.
  • If you have reasonable goals, then you should be able to live the rest of your life fairly normally (assuming you are in the group of average older patients with numerous health problems.
  • This advice does not apply to a traumatic injury where the person would have a higher base level of athleticism and higher expectations.
can you walk without your big toe

Amputated big toe problems:

  • The most common problem we see for an amputated big toe is pressure that develops under the second metatarsal phalangeal joint.
  • Studies showed that it is possible to develop pain and eventual foot ulcer formation underneath the second metatarsal phalangeal joint.

Other amputated big toe problems:

  • Increased use of your ankle knee and hip.
  • There is also increased pressure on your office foot.
  • There is also increased pressure on your back and hips.
  • This can lead to increased osteoarthritis in the future to these joints.

Best Big Toe Amputation Shoes:

  • Click the picture below to see our best big toe amputation shoes.
  • The shoe should be combined with a custom orthotic made by a qualified podiatrist.
  • If you are in Michigan come see us for a custom-made orthotic. Most major insurance plans do cover these custom orthotics.
  • If you do not have insurance or have issues, check the orthotics below to see only to our favorite orthotics.
Best Podiatrist Recommended Shoes
Click on this link for our favorite podiatrist recommended big toe amputation shoes.

Best big toe amputation insoles:

Best Orthotics for overpronation
If you have a big toe amputation, a custom orthotic made by a podiatrist may be best. If there are issues getting one, an over the counter orthotic may be helpful.

Best walking boot & scooters for a toe amputation:

In the first 2 months or so after a big toe amputation, an assistive device may be beneficial.

Causes of Big Toe Amputation:


Osteomyelitis induced big toe amputation:

  • The most common cause of big toe amputation is secondary due to osteomyelitis.
  • Osteomyelitis means that there is an infection in the bone.
  • Check below to see MRI pictures of osteomyelitis big toe amputations.

Amputation of the big toe due to diabetes video:

  • The most common cause of amputation of the big toe is a diabetic foot ulcer.
  • In this video we go over how to prevent diabetic foot ulcers.
  • This is the most common cause of your right big toe amputation or left big toe amputation.

Big toe amputation recovery due to diabetes:

🦶Do you have Diabetic foot pain? This may be the start of a Diabetic Foot Ulcer. We go over the Diabetic Foot Ulcer Early Signs, Causes & BEST Home Treatments🦶

How to treat a diabetic foot ulcer:
0:00 What is a diabetic foot ulcer?
0:53 Diabetic foot ulcer causes
1:08 Diabetic foot ulcer beginnings
2:55 Diabetic foot ulcer infection treatment
3:17 Diabetic foot ulcer stages
3:47 Diabetic foot ulcer podiatrist and diabetic foot ulcer doctors
4:27 Diabetic foot ulcer early signs
4:44 Infected diabetic foot ulcer treatment
5:10 Diabetic foot ulcer treatment at home
5:45 Diabetic foot ulcer total contact cast
6:30 Diabetic foot ulcer shoes
6:45 Diabetic foot ulcer orthotics
7:20 Diabetic foot ulcer exercises and Diabetic foot ulcer stretches
9:08 Early stage diabetic foot ulcer
9:53 Diabetic foot ulcer Home Treatment
10:10 Diabetic foot ulcer Peripheral Neuropathy

Big toe amputation pictures:

These are pictures of big toe amputations due to osteomyelitis and diabetes.

Common causes include:

  • Osteomyelitis leading to big toe amputation.
  • Amputation of big toe due to diabetes.

Frequently asked questions:

Do you need your big toe to walk?

  • This is a difficult question to answer 100%, but in general you do not need your big toe to walk.
  • It is more difficult to walk without a big toe than with your big toe, but you still can walk without your big toe.
  • Studies have shown that you do have impairment and need to make it up through your ankle knee and hip and lower back.

Can I walk without a big toe?

  • The answer is yes you can still walk.
  • For most people they can still do everything they need to do like go to the store, work sit down jobs and go on low stress vacations.
  • Take a look at some of our recommended shoes, assistive devices for more improvement.

Can you walk if you lose your big toe?

  • Yes you can still walk if you lose your big toe.
  • But studies do show that your ankle knee and hip do have to compensate and make up for the loss of big toe joint function.

Other Services our podiatrists provide:

Other in office procedures our podiatrists can perform: