Hammertoe may occur when the middle joint in the toe bends downward, creating the appearance of a hammer. It generally affects the second or third toe, and can make it uncomfortable to wear shoes. Common reasons for developing a hammertoe may include genetic factors, as well as wearing shoes that do not have adequate room for the toes to move freely in. Sometimes enduring a toe injury can cause a hammertoe to develop, or it may result from medical conditions such as arthritis. When a hammertoe is present, many patients may experience difficulty in flexing their feet, and corns or calluses may develop on top of the affected toes as well. If you are afflicted with a hammertoe, it is strongly suggested that you are under the care of a podiatrist who can offer you treatment options.
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.
- Painful and/or difficult toe movement
- Joint stiffness
- Physical deformity
- 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
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 Saint Petersburg, FL.. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Hammertoe