One common cause of the condition known as hammertoe is wearing shoes that don’t fit correctly. When the toes are in a cramped position for an extended period of time, it’s natural for the muscles of the toes to become shorter, causing the toes to lock into a curved position. Patients who have arthritis or diabetes may be prone to developing hammertoe, and those who have a certain inherited gene may also be at risk. Occasionally the toes can be straightened, and in most cases, a splint may be utilized for stretching the toe. However, if the toe is completely locked up, surgery may be necessary. There are muscle strengthening exercises that aid in helping the foot to become stronger, possibly decreasing the discomfort originating from this condition. When the proper shoes are worn, which may make it necessary to increase the size of the shoe, more room is provided for the toes to feel comfortable. Often this is a condition that won’t disappear naturally, and a consultation is strongly advised for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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 Plymouth Meeting and Ambler, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about What Are Hammertoes?