Predislocation syndrome

Predislocation Syndrome

Predislocation syndrome is a slowly progressing condition where the structures that hold the joint of your second toe stable begin to degenerate.  As a result, you will experience frequent pain, burning in nature, in the ball of your foot that results from inflammation of the joint structures. 

Predislocation syndrome occurs prior to the toe joint actually dislocating.  Walking barefoot typically becomes uncomfortable, particularly on hard surfaces, like wood or tile floors.  Sometimes you will notice your second toe has “migrated,” or moved a bit to the left or right.  In extreme cases, the second toe will sometimes cross the big toe. 

Generally speaking, predislocation syndrome causes ongoing pain and discomfort in the ball of the foot that is severe enough to disrupt your everyday life.  Exercising becomes more difficult and painful; sometimes just walking across the floor can become a real challenge.

Who Gets Predislocation Syndrome?

Predislocation syndrome is a common foot ailment and although just about anyone can develop the condition, it is more common in people with  a shortened first toe (big toe), and an elongated second toe that extends beyond the big toe.

Frequently, Predislocation Syndrome is misdiagnosed as Mortons Neuroma and subsequently ineffectively treated.  Sometimes, four or five months have gone by before these patients will seek out another diagnosis and treatment.

Getting a Good Diagnosis

The first step in getting a good diagnosis is recognizing the signs of Predislocation syndrome and seeking a podiatrist’s advice.  If you experience any of the following, you should make an appointment with a podiatrist:

 1. Pain in the ball of your foot

2. Difficulty walking barefoot, especially on hard surfaces

3. Have to limit your regular physical activity, including exercise, because of the pain

4. Recently increased your physical activity, such as beginning to train for a marathon


Since symptoms are very similar to Capsulitis, treatment regimes for Predislocation syndrome do overlap (see Capsulitis). However where Predislocation syndrome has persisted without any effective treatment and the second toe has become crooked then we would consider referring to a foot and ankle surgeon.