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What Is a Hammertoe?

Tuesday, 22 March 2022 00:00

A hammertoe is when a toe joint (usually the second or middle toe joint) points up instead of lying flat and causes the toe to look like a hammer. This condition can be painful and can lead to difficulty walking. The affected joint often gets rigid, the joint stiffens, sometimes to non-movement. Sometimes a corn or callus may develop on the joint and can cause pain and swelling on the top of the bent toe. This affliction can be caused by weak foot or leg muscles which lead to the tendon pulling up the toe in an abnormal position. Hammertoes are more apt to happen to those who wear high heels or shoes that do not properly support the feet. However, foot type at birth, those with neuromuscular disease, and trauma may predispose one to develop this joint deformity as well. If you think you have symptoms of a hammertoe, it is recommended that you see a qualified podiatrist as soon as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment.

 

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact one of our podiatrists from North Bay Ankle & Foot Center. 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.

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 offices located in Petaluma and Sonoma, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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