Tuesday, 13 July 2021 00:00

The Progressive Foot Disorder Known as Hammertoe

A hammertoe occurs when the middle joint in a toe is stuck in a bent position and the toe curls down, rather than laying flat. This deformity can develop in any toe other than the big toe. An imbalance in the muscles or tendons in the feet can lead to a hammertoe forming over time. Genetics may predispose certain people to hammertoes, which can be brought on by wearing pointy, narrow high heels. Having bunions, or certain diseases such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth, diabetes, or arthritis, can also contribute to the development of a hammertoe. In the early stages, the contraction is flexible and the toe can still move. In time, the bent toe can become rigid as the condition progresses. That is why it is important to seek the care of a podiatrist in the early stages, when more conservative therapies can be deployed to correct the deformity without surgery.

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact James C. Lee, DPM of California. Our doctors will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Anaheim, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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