is a misshapen second, third, or fourth toe. The toe bends up at the middle joint. The
toe becomes a hammertoe because a muscle in the toe isn?t working properly or is too weak, increasing pressure on the tendons and the toe joints. Muscles normally work in twos to bend and straighten
toes. If the toe stays bent too long, a hammertoe develops. Ill-fitting shoes, arthritis, heredity, even an injury, can cause the hammertoe to form. To add insult to injury, corns and calluses are
common on top of hammertoes because the toe is rubbing against the shoe.
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 rigid hammertoe. The risk of
developing a hammertoe increases with age. Women are much more likely to develop a hammertoe than men.
A hammer toe may be painful, especially when irritated by a shoe. All four toe conditions may cause cramps in the toes, foot and leg due to the abnormal function of the tendons in the foot. If a
mallet toe has occurred, you are likely to suffer from a corn at the end of the toe. A hammertoe may cause a corn on the top of the toe. Infections and ulcers can also occur. In severe cases a mallet
toe, trigger toe, claw toe or a hammer toe may create a downward pressure on the foot, which can result in hard skin and corns on the soles of the feet.
Your doctor is very likely to be able to diagnose your hammertoe simply by examining your foot. Even before that, he or she will probably ask about your family and personal medical history and
evaluate your gait as you walk and the types of shoes you wear. You'll be asked about your symptoms, when they started and when they occur. You may also be asked to flex your toe so that your doctor
can get an idea of your range of motion. He or she may order x-rays in order to better define your deformity.
Non Surgical Treatment
Conservative treatment is limited to accommodation, not correction, of the deformity, though some patients find the relief they can get from these options to be more than enough to Hammer toe
put off or even avoid surgery. These include better Footwear. Shoe gear with a wider
toe box and higher volume causes less friction to the toes. Toe Braces and Strapping. Some toe braces and strapping techniques take some pressure off the toes during gait. Custom molded orthotics can
redistribute the forces through the tendons that control the toe, lessening the pain and extent of the deformity.The calluses on the toe and the ball of the foot can be shaved occasionally to reduce
some pain and pressure, although they will return due to the constant deformity.
Laser surgery is popular for cosmetic procedures, however, for hammer toe surgery it does not offer any advantage to traditional methods. Laser is useful for soft tissues (not bone), and because
hammer toe surgery involves bone procedures, it is not effective. For cosmetic hammer toe surgery, patients should look for surgeons experienced in aesthetic foot surgery.
If you notice signs of hammertoes in your feet, try some of these suggestions. Look for shoes with flat heels and plenty of space to allow your toes to stretch and spread. We're proud to say that all
of our shoes at Soft Star feature these qualities. If you're unwilling to give up your heels, at least try to minimize how much you wear them. Instead of wearing heels every day, is it possible to
save them for more special occasions? Giving your feet a break from time to time can do wonders. Practice picking up a towel by grabbing it with your toes. You can also try picking up small objects,
such as dice. Doing this several times a day can help stretch and strengthen your toe muscles. Show Your Feet Some Love. Getting a foot massage and stretching your calves can help loosen muscles and