Definition and Reasons for Developing Hammertoe
Hammertoe, a relatively common foot condition, is often the source of discomfort and inconvenience for many individuals. This deformity occurs when the middle joint of one or more of your smaller toes becomes bent and stuck in an abnormal position. The affected toes often resemble the shape of a hammer, hence the name. Hammertoes can develop for a variety of reasons, including genetics, foot structure, or wearing ill-fitting shoes. High heels and shoes that squeeze the toes together can exacerbate the problem. Hammertoes can lead to pain, corns, calluses, and difficulty finding comfortable footwear. While the condition can be hereditary, early intervention through wearing proper footwear and certain medical treatment can help prevent or alleviate the discomfort associated with hammertoes, allowing individuals to maintain healthier and happier feet. If you are afflicted with hammertoe, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can guide you toward effective relief options.
Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.
- Pain in the affected toes
- Development of corns or calluses due to friction
- Contracture of the toes
Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible
Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur
Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe
Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe
Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it
Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used
Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option
If you have any questions please contact our office located in Boston, MA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.