A hammertoe affects one of the three middle toes of the foot, causing the toe to bend upward at its middle joint. Wearing shoes with larger foot beds, using shoe inserts or padding, toe stretching and strengthening exercises, and other lifestyle changes might be enough to manage a hammertoe. However, if those kinds of things do not help, surgery may be called for. Those with other foot problems like bunions, corns, or heel spurs may have surgery to take care of all problems at once. However, if one has poor blood circulation in their feet, any kind of foot infection, or health problems that make surgery a risky option, they are unlikely to be a good candidates. If you think you have a hammertoe and cannot find relief, consult a podiatrist for a customized treatment plan.
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.