Hammertoe is a medical condition that most commonly affects the second, third, or fourth toe. The condition is referred to as such due to the abnormal downward bend in the affected toe that creates a hammer-like appearance. Hammertoe may form when there is an imbalance present in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that are meant to keep the toe straight. Many factors influence the causes of hammertoe, including: footwear which constraint the toes such as heels, previous toe injuries, toe length, aging, genetics, and the presence of certain diseases such as arthritis or diabetes. Along with the bending of the toe, those affected may also experience pain, swelling, redness, and the formation of corns or calluses on top of the hammertoe’s middle joint. To help prevent such from happening, one can practice the following: wearing low heels, making sure footwear is accommodating to the room needed for your toes, wearing adjustable laces and straps, and having proper arch support. Lifestyle changes and exercise may aid in nursing this condition as well. Because hammertoe is likely to worsen overtime, it is advised you speak with a podiatrist early on to discuss the proper treatment.
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 offices located in Port St. Lucie, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about What Are Hammertoes?