When the toe joints become out of balance a condition known as hammertoe may develop. This is considered to be a deformity and can happen from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely. The joints in the toes become affected and can bend downward, resembling a hammer. Additionally, genetic reasons may cause this condition to occur, where there is an imbalance in the tendons. An injury to the toes may cause a hammertoe to develop and many times corns and calluses form on top of the bent toes. Research has indicated that is important to wear shoes that fit correctly. A shoe that fits well has enough space between the longest toe and the top of the shoe, ensuring the toe will not touch that part of the shoe. Flexible hammertoe generally happens in the beginning stages of this ailment. This is noticeable because the toes can still be straightened despite being in a fixed position. When the toes are unable to straighten this is classified as rigid hammertoe, and surgery may be necessary to correct it. If you notice signs of hammertoe, please consult with a podiatrist who can guide you toward the correct treatment techniques.
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.