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How Hammertoe Occurs

Tuesday, 08 November 2022 00:00

Many people do not think twice about their toes until a foot condition develops. Hammertoe is one such condition that is considered to be a deformity. An imbalance of the toes can cause the second and third toes to bend downward at the middle joint, resembling the shape of a hammer. The toes contribute to maintaining balance and pushing off while walking. Hammertoe may develop from wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely. When high heels are frequently worn, the toes may gradually bend to fit into the narrow toe box, causing a hammertoe. Additionally, blisters may form on the affected toes due to friction as they rub against the top of the shoes. Existing medical conditions like arthritis, bunions, and high or low arches may lead to the development of hammertoe. Relief may be found when the shoes have ample room for the toes. It can also be beneficial to wear a protective pad over the affected toes. Surgery may be suggested in severe cases to obtain permanent straightening. Please consult a podiatrist who can determine the best course of treatment.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Deborah Holte, DPM from Northeast Missouri Foot Clinic. Our doctor 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.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

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

Treatment

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 our office located in Kirksville, MO . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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