Hammertoe: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Hammertoe is a condition in which one or both joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth (little) toes are abnormally bent (contracture). Commonly caused by a muscle or tendon imbalance – though hammertoes can be inherited or result from trauma – this condition usually starts out mild and slowly worsens over time.

Hammertoe Symptoms and Signs

•      Pain or irritation when wearing shoes

•      Corns and calluses

•      Inflammation

•      Redness

•      Burning sensation

•      Contracture (bending) of the toe

•     In more severe cases, open sores may form

Hammertoe Treatment

Due to its progressive nature, hammertoes should receive treatment as soon as possible. If left untreated, hammertoes can become more rigid. If this is the case, non-surgical treatment is no longer an option.

Non-Surgical Treatment of Hammertoes includes:

Padding corns and calluses: Your podiatrist can either prescribe or provide you with a special pad designed to shield corns and prevent irritation.

Changes in shoewear: Shoes with pointed toes are strictly forbidden. The same goes for shoes that are too short or high heels. All three of these will force the toe against the front of the shoe, aggravating your condition.

Orthotic devices:  Custom orthotics can be placed in your shoe to help control the muscle/tendon imbalance.

Injection therapy:  Corticosteroid injections can be used to ease pain and inflammation.

Medications:  Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.

Splinting/strapping: Splints or straps may realign the affected toe.

If the hammertoe does not get better with non-surgical treatment and your condition worsens, surgery may be your last option.

If you have any other questions or wish to schedule an appointment, contact We Treat Feet Podiatry by clicking here to view our various locations and phone numbers!

We Treat Feet! That’s what we do. From the simplest nail problems, to the most complex foot deformities, we provide exceptional care in a kind and compassionate manner. We offer board certified physicians that have spent years learning the intricate structures and functions of the human foot and ankle. No knees or elbows here, only the best foot and ankle care available in Maryland.

From heel pain, bunions, Sports medicine injuries, broken bones, neuromas, hammertoes, and flatfeet to Achilles tendon problems, we have the most modern technology available to help you, including digital x-ray, diagnostic ultrasound, and vascular testing equipment.

Our physician team offers treatments for people of all ages, from infants to seniors. No foot is too big, no problem is too big, because remember, We Treat Feet!

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Sources:

Hammertoe Foot Health Facts

1 Comment

  1. I’ve read that hammertoe and bunions are usually caused by improper foot wear such as high heel shoes. Is this true? If so why aren’t women warned of this?

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