An abnormal bend in the middle joint of a toe is a sign of hammertoe, a deformity caused by a weakening of the muscles, tissue, and tendon in the joint. A hammertoe also can be the result of arthritis or a genetic predisposition to joint problems. Trauma, injury, or improper footwear may also be factors in the formation of a hammertoe. Symptoms include pain when flexing the toe or wearing shoes. The toe may also become reddened. In many cases of hammertoe, a corn or callus develops on the raised portion of the joint as it rubs against the inside of a shoe. When trying to determine the best way to deal with a hammertoe, a podiatrist may take X-rays to determine the toe’s current bone and ligament structure. In some cases, taping and padding of the toe can reduce painful effects. Anti-inflammatory or cortisone injections also can lessen the discomfort in some cases. Orthotic devices and surgery are other options for hammertoe treatment. For more information on dealing with a hammertoe deformity, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.
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.