If one of your toes is permanently bent at the middle joint, preventing it from laying flat like the other toes, it could be a hammertoe. Hammertoes can occur in any toe other than the big toe. This condition gets its name because your toe is bent into a shape resembling the head of a hammer. Hammertoe develops over time, and is typically caused by an imbalance in the foot’s tendons and muscles. If you have a genetic predisposition towards this condition, you may exacerbate its development by wearing pointy shoes or high heels, which place pressure on your toes and force them into a narrow space. Injuries and foot conditions such as bunions can also contribute to the formation of a hammertoe, as well as arthritis. Hammertoes are a progressive condition, meaning they worsen with time and, therefore, may become rigid. That is why it is important to get them diagnosed and treated by a podiatrist as early as possible—while they are still flexible and there is a greater chance to correct the deformity.
Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from PA Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.
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 Pennsylvania . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about Hammertoe