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Little toe, is it true that it will disappear?

For many years, the “rumor” that the little toe has lost its original function and it no longer has as much use for the human being as before, but...

Is it true that it tends to disappear? Does it have any function?



With the passage of time, the toes have been changing their original function (The prehensile ability he had to grasp objects) with the aim of favoring the equilibrium and displacement with the upright posture that characterizes us today.

This loss of its main function has led to the current structure of the toes.


Of the five toes, the big toe or first finger, is about which 80-85% of all stability falls provided by the foot, also acting as propulsive lever in the second and third phase of the march. The rest of the fingers follow him until they reach the smallest.



The answer is YES. The fifth finger, apart from being a good obstacle detector like the legs of chairs, beds, and the corners of furniture, has a very important function in foot balance in each step we take, since it is a external stabilizer.


At the same time, forms part of the three support points (plantar tripod) which support and distribute the weight at every step. These three support points are the heel, head of the first metatarsal (big toe) and fifth metatarsal head (little finger).

As with any tripod, if any of the three "legs" fail, balance is lost or significantly reduced.


In turn, for bad habits o lack of information, this finger is negatively affected on a day-to-day basis by a incorrect use of footwear (Like the pointed toe shoes or the famous heeled shoes). That is why he ends up suffering many injury which could be avoided with good habits.


In our Podoactiva consultations we have attended patients who, for various reasons (amputations, accidents...), already they don't have this fifth finger. In most cases, in addition to causing external stability problems, this absence has also caused injuries such as hardness, corns or pains on the outside of the foot.


In short, the little finger or fifth finger It is essential to provide balance and stability in each step we take..


Therefore, the "rumor" of his disappearance would remain just that, a myth. 


Daniel Fernandez and Alejandro Pena

Podoactiva podiatrist

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