A hammertoe has a joint permanently facing inward with an abnormal arch in the middle joint. It is a deformity resulting from a weakening in the components that keep the toe straight including the muscle, ligaments or tendons. Pain from hammertoes is often the result of rubbing on shoes or other outerwear and associated infection opposed to the condition itself.
The main causes of hammertoe include repeated use of footwear which crowds the toes into jammed positions such as high heels or ski boots. In addition, an abnormal balance of feet and trauma to the toes such as severe stubbing or broken bones may cause the condition. In addition to the common causes, certain factors may put an individual at high risk of developing hammertoes. These include, but are not limited to, old age, gender (women are more susceptible), a second toe longer than the big toe, and diabetes.
A Hammertoe can be identified by its signature bend in the middle joint. There have also been reports of pain and tingling when attempting to move or straighten the affected toes. Corns and calluses on the top of the joint may develop due to rubbing against shoes and other surfaces.
Hammertoes can be treated conservatively with buttress padding or splints as well as custom orthotics which are both scanned and ordered at our offices. In more severe cases, referrals for surgery can be issued.