Those who lose their big toe will see the cosmetic change in their foot and will have physical difficulties; however, according to doctors in Scientific American, people who lose their big toes can still walk and run. For serious runners, doctors will often create a prosthetic big toe, but it is possible to run and walk without a prosthetic.
A prosthetic big toe is needed to help improve the efficiency of a runner or walker's gait and will help the individual move more quickly with stronger and longer strides. The prosthetic also helps to absorb some of the impact from running because approximately 40 percent is absorbed through the big toe, reports Scientific American.
For people who decide not to get a prosthetic big toe, their life will change relatively little according to Scientific American and Mount Sinai Hospital. They may experience a thickening of the outer skin on the toes that are closest to the former big toe and may also experience a wearing down of shoes on the side of the shoe where the big toe would have been. Patients should also expect physical therapy to help build up the muscles in the legs and feet to support the body without the big toe before returning to normal. Most people lose their big toe due to a high-stakes emergency accident or due to a diabetes crisis, reports Mount Sinai Hospital.