Hammer Toe Correction
Hammertoes are the most common deformity of the smaller toes of the foot, meaning the second, third, fourth, and fifth toes of your feet. The joints of the toe are bent, resembling a hammer. Hammertoes can cause thickened toenails and corns or calluses on the top of the toe or at the tip of the toe. If you are diabetic, these corns and calluses can lead to ulceration (sores) and infection. Pain may be experienced to the toes or the ball of the foot. Many people with hammertoes have difficulty finding comfortable shoes. Hammertoes can become painful and rigid or inflexible and require surgical correction.
Hammertoes occur because of an imbalance in the muscles surrounding the toe joints. If the muscles are too tight or too weak, your toe will not be able to move the way it is supposed to. This muscle imbalance is due to a variety of factors, including:
- Shoes: if you wear shoes that are too tight in the toe box or if you constantly wear high heels, your toes will be forced into a flexed position.
- Gender: women are more likely to develop hammer toes.
- Age: the risk of developing hammer toes increases as you age.
- Injuries: If you have broken, stubbed or jammed your toe, there is an increased risk that a hammer toe will develop.
- Toe length: Second toes that are longer than big toes are at an increased risk of developing a hammer toe.
- Genetics: Hammertoes are genetic in some cases and can run in the family.
- Certain diseases: Arthritis and diabetes sufferers are more likely to develop foot-related issues like a hammertoe.
There are many different treatment options for hammertoe deformities. In our office, your podiatrist will review your x-rays with you and determine the best treatment option for your specific condition, lifestyle, and goals. Hammer toe surgery may be performed by your podiatrist at a hospital, a surgical center, or in the office. Patients are able to go home the same day and follow up in the office weekly or every other week for x-rays and evaluation. Patients are able to bear weight and walk after hammertoe surgery but are advised to limit their activity for up to six weeks.
To reduce your risk of developing a hammer toe, consider changing your footwear. Please contact our office if you are suffering from hammer toes, and we will find the right treatment option for you!