Hammertoes are deformities occurring in toes (other than the big toe) where the joint at the base of the toe points up and the middle joint points down. This deformity causes a hammer-like appearance in the affected toe. Hammertoes form over time, and are often the result of wearing shoes that are too short for the foot, pointed at the toes, or have heels that are too high. Other contributing factors may include having a bunion or other condition that squeezes the toes into an unnatural, compacted position. A podiatrist may be able to straighten a hammertoe if they can treat it while it is still flexible. Once a hammertoe becomes rigid, a surgical intervention may be necessary to straighten the toe and return it to its normal range of motion. Call a podiatrist right away if you suspect a hammertoe is developing, in order to increase your chances of having it straightened before it becomes rigid.
Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists of Toe-tal Family Footcare Associates. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.
Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.
- Painful and/or difficult toe movement
- Joint stiffness
- Physical deformity
- Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
- Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
- Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
- Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe
If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Vista, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about What Are Hammertoes?