If you sneak a peek at your feet and notice that your toes are crossed, bent, or just pointing at an odd angle, you probably suffer from a Hammer toes
. Toes that are scrunched up inside tight shoes or pressed against the toe box of the shoe can bend at the
joints and stay that way - resulting in a hammertoe. A hammertoe is a contracture of the toe at one of the two joints in the toe. Due to the pull of the tendons, the joints become more rigid over
time. The toe is bent up at the joint and does not straighten out.
Some causes of hammertoe are shoes that are too tight or short, shoes with high heels, injury, Diseases that affect the nerves and muscles, such as arthritis and diabetes. When shoes do not fit well,
over time the pressure of the shoes pushes the toes into a bent position. After a while, the muscles become unable to straighten the toe, even when you are not wearing shoes. Similarly, when there is
damage or disease of the nerves or muscles in the toes, the toe may rest in the bent position until the tendons become permanently shortened and the toe becomes a Hammer toes
rigid hammertoe. The risk of developing a hammertoe increases with age. Women are
much more likely to develop a hammertoe than men.
At first, a hammertoe or mallet toe may maintain its flexibility and lie flat when you're not wearing crowded footwear. But eventually, the tendons of the toe may contract and tighten, causing your
toe to become permanently stiff. Your shoes can rub against the raised portion of the toe or toes, causing painful corns or calluses.
Most health care professionals can diagnose hammertoe simply by examining your toes and feet. X-rays of the feet are not needed to diagnose hammertoe, but they may be useful to look for signs of some
types of arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis) or other disorders that can cause hammertoe.
Non Surgical Treatment
A toe doctor can provide you with devices such as hammer toe regulators or straighteners. These are also available for purchase locally. Another good idea is to start the hammer toe rehabilitation
process by gently trying to straighten the joint and moving and flexing the affected toe as much as possible without straining it. If hammer toe taping doesn?t work, you may require surgery. If the
joints and tendons have stiffened to a point of non-movement, hammer toe corrective surgery may need to enter the toe and either cut or manually move some of the tendons and ligaments. Although the
treatment is relatively safe fast, you may deal with some stiffness afterwards.
For severe hammer toe, you will need an operation to straighten the joint. The surgery often involves cutting or moving tendons and ligaments. Sometimes the bones on each side of the joint need to be
connected (fused) together. Most of the time, you will go home on the same day as the surgery. The toe may still be stiff afterward, and it may be shorter. If the condition is treated early, you can
often avoid surgery. Treatment will reduce pain and walking difficulty.