Hammertoe is a prevalent and often uncomfortable foot deformity that affects the toes, typically the second, third, or fourth toes. The condition gets its name from the toe's appearance, as the affected toe tends to bend or contract at the middle joint, resembling a hammer. Hammertoes can result from various causes, including wearing poorly fitting footwear that squeezes the toes and forces them into an unnatural position. High heels, in particular, are known culprits. Hammertoe can also be caused by an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that control the toe's movement, leading to an abnormal bend. Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to the condition. Arthritis, injury, or nerve damage can also contribute to the development of hammertoes. The deformity can lead to discomfort, corns, calluses, or open sores due to friction with shoes. Early intervention is essential, and conservative treatments may be successful. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to straighten the affected toe. If you have developed hammertoe, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist who can determine its severity, followed by choosing the best course of treatment for you.
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 Marlton, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.