is a secondary problem originating from fallen cross arches. The toes start to curl
and get pulled backwards, as the collapsed or pushed out metatarsal bones
pull the tendons and ligaments, and causes them to get shorter and tighter. This condition causes the toes have higher pressure and they have limited movement and cannot be straightened fully. This can lead to numbness and pain in the toes as muscles, nerves, joints and little ligaments are involved with this condition. As the top part of the toe
can rub against the shoe, it can cause corns and calluses.
Hammertoe has three main culprits: tight shoes, trauma, and nerve injuries or disorders. When toes are crowded in shoes that are too tight and narrow, they are unable to rest flat
, and this curled toe
position may become permanent even when you aren't wearing shoes due to the tendons of the toe
permanently tightening. When the tendons are held in one position for too long, the muscles tighten and eventually become unable to stretch back out. A similar situation may result when tendons are injured due to trauma, such as a stubbed, jammed, or broken toe
Common symptoms of hammertoes include pain or irritation of the affected toe
when wearing shoes. corns and calluses (a buildup of skin) on the toe
, between two toes, or on the ball of the foot. Corns are caused by constant friction against the shoe. They may be soft or hard, depending upon their location. Inflammation, redness, or a burning sensation. Contracture of the toe
. In more severe cases of hammertoe, open sores may form.
Some questions your doctor may ask of you include, when did you first begin Hammer toe
having foot problems? How much pain are your feet or toes causing you? Where is the pain located? What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms? What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms? What kind of shoes do you normally wear? Your doctor can diagnose hammertoe or mallet toe
by examining your foot. Your doctor may also order X-rays to further evaluate the bones
and joints of your feet and toes.
Non Surgical Treatment
Apply a commercial, nonmedicated hammertoe pad around the bony
prominence of the hammertoe. This will decrease pressure on the area. Wear a shoe with a deep toe
box. If the hammertoe becomes inflamed and painful, apply ice packs several times a day to reduce swelling. Avoid heels more than two inches tall. A loose-fitting pair of shoes can also help protect the foot while reducing pressure on the affected toe
, making walking a little easier until a visit to your podiatrist can be arranged. It is important to remember that, while this treatment will make the hammertoe feel better, it does not cure the condition. A trip to the podiatric physician?s office will be necessary to repair the toe
to allow for normal foot function. Avoid wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow. Children should have their shoes properly fitted on a regular basis, as their feet can often outgrow their shoes rapidly. See your podiatric physician if pain persists.
Laser surgery is popular for cosmetic procedures, however, for hammer toe
surgery it does not offer any advantage to traditional methods. Laser is useful for soft tissues (not bone), and because hammer toe
surgery involves bone procedures, it is not effective. For cosmetic hammer toe
surgery, patients should look for surgeons experienced in aesthetic foot surgery.
There are several things you can do to help prevent hammer toes from forming or progressing. Wear supportive shoes to help prevent deformities. Hammer toes are often related to faulty foot mechanics, especially foot flattening. Wear custom orthotics prescribed by your podiatrist. Orthotics may slow the progression
or prevent the development of hammer toes. Avoid shoes with narrow or pointed toe
boxes that can compress the toes.