Hammertoe describes a contracture in the middle joint of a toe. It usually affects the middle three toes. While many people experience no problem due to hammertoe, others can develop foot pain or discomfort while wearing shoes or while walking and running.
Another condition, known as mallet toe, affects the highest joint closest to the toenail.
If you have a hammertoe, you’ll notice an abnormal bend in one of your middle toe joints. Pain can also develop, especially when you wiggle the toe or wear shoes. Corns and calluses often develop on top of the toe, where the joint rubs against your shoes.
Contact Ankle and Foot Clinic of Idaho if you suspect you have hammertoe. The condition will not resolve on its own and is likely to worsen without treatment.
Hammertoe usually results from an imbalance in the soft tissues that keep your toe aligned straight. If you repeatedly wear tight or narrow shoes in the toe box, you can cause this imbalance to develop in the tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Some people are also genetically predisposed to an imbalance in the soft tissues.
Your risk of developing hammertoe rises as you age or if you experience a stubbed or broken toe. People with arthritis or diabetes or those who have a longer second toe as compared to the big toe are also at greater risk.
Hammertoes are flexible at first and respond well to conservative treatments. Your customized treatment plan may include:
Over time, however, hammertoes become less flexible and even rigid. In these cases, you may need surgery to correct them. Dr. Mccall may recommend one of several procedures, including tendon lengthening, tendon transfer, or joint fusion surgery.
If you’re concerned that you have hammertoe, call Ankle and Foot Clinic of Idaho or use this website to book an appointment today.