The medical condition that is referred to as hammertoe is considered to be a deformity of the joints in the toes. It most often occurs in the second toe, and will cause the toe to resemble a hammer, which is a result of the top of the toe turning downward. Many patients may develop this condition if they are flat-footed or born with the second toe that is longer than the first. There are several reasons why this uncomfortable condition may occur, and these may include wearing shoes such as high heels, which may provide inadequate room for the toes to move freely in, arthritic conditions that are present in the feet, or a predisposed inherited gene. There are noticeable symptoms that are often associated with this condition, including toes that curl, difficulty in wearing shoes that fit properly, or possible pain in the ball of the foot. When specific toe stretches are performed frequently, it may help the tendons in the foot to relax. Additionally, if the toe is splinted, this technique may aid in stretching the tendons and ligaments in the foot, which may bring a moderate level of relief. If you notice the formation of a hammertoe, it is advised to consult with a podiatrist, so the correct treatment can begin.
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 one of our offices located in Metropolis and Eldorado, IL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about What Are Hammertoes?