is a toe that is contracted at the PIP joint (middle joint in the toe), potentially leading to severe
pressure and pain. Ligaments and tendons that have tightened cause the toe's joints to curl downwards. Hammer toes may occur in any toe except the big toe. There is often discomfort at the top part
of the toe due to rubbing against the shoe.
Hammer toes result from a muscle imbalance which causes the ligaments and tendons to become unnaturally tight. This results in the joint curling downward. Arthritis can also lead to many different
forefoot deformities, including hammer toes.
Hammertoe and mallet toe feature an abnormal bend in the joints of one or more of your toes. Moving the affected toe may be difficult or painful. Corns and calluses can result from the toe rubbing
against the inside of your shoes. See your doctor if you have persistent foot pain that affects your ability to walk properly.
The treatment options vary with the type and severity of each hammer toe, although identifying the deformity early in its development is important to avoid surgery. Your podiatric physician will
examine Hammer toe
and X-ray the affected area and recommend a treatment plan specific
to your condition.
Non Surgical Treatment
In the early stages, the deformities from mallet toe, claw toe and hammertoe can be corrected. But if treatment is delayed too long, permanent stiffness can ensue which can only be corrected by
surgery. The most effective treatment options are good fitting footwear. Shoes with a wide toebox will be more comfortable and will reduce the tension on the muscles and friction on the toes. Avoid
high heels as they push your feet forwards to the front of the shoes. This increases the pressure on the toes, forcing them to bend more than usual. Shoes should ideally be half an inch longer than
your longest toe. Exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles can be really helpful. Simple things like trying to pick marbles up with your feet or scrunching up a towel underneath your foot can
Several surgical procedures are available to the podiatric physician. For less severe deformities, the surgery will remove the bony prominence and restore normal alignment of the toe joint, thus
relieving pain. Severe hammertoes, which are not fully reducible, may require more complex surgical procedures. Recuperation takes time, and some swelling and discomfort are common for several weeks
following surgery. Any pain, however, is easily managed with medications prescribed by your podiatric physician.
wear sensible shoes. Here are some tips. Most people have one foot that's bigger than the other. Fit your shoes to the bigger foot. Buy your shoes at the end of the day as your feet tend to swell a
bit and you will get a better sense of fit. When you buy your shoes, wear the sock that you will be using when wearing that shoe - wear a sports sock when buyingtrainers, for example. As you get
older, your feet get bigger. Get your feet measured every time you buy shoes. Don't go by shoe sizes. Shoe sizes vary among manufacturers; a shoe is the right size only when it fits comfortably. The
ball of your foot should fit into the widest part of the shoe. A shoe should be sturdy so that it only bends in the ball of the foot, exactly where your big toes bend. Any shoe that can be bent
anywhere along the sole or twisted side to side is generally too flimsy. There should be at least 1.5 cm between the tip of your longest toe and the front of the shoe. Never buy shoes that feel tight
and expect them to stretch with wearing. If you have prominent areas on your feet such as hammer toes and bunions, avoid shoes with a lot of stitching or multiple pieces of fabric, as these stitched
areas tend not to stretch to accommodate various toe deformities. Your shoes shouldn't ride up and down on your heel as you walk. The higher the heel, the less safe the shoe. Check children's shoes