A hammer toe is a deformity of toe in which toe is curled downward instead of pointing forward. It can affect any of your toe but most commonly affects the second or third toe. Most of the time hammer toe may be present at birth, but it may also develop over time due to wearing poor-fitting shoes such as pointed and tight heels.
Causes of Hammer Toe
Your toe is designed in such a way that it has two joints that allow it to bend at the bottom and middle. Dislocation of the middle joint leads to hammer toe.
Common causes of hammer toe include:
- Wearing ill fitting shoes
- High foot arc
- Injury to toe
- Tightened tendons and ligaments in foot
- Pressure from Bunion
Signs and Symptoms of Hammer Toe
The most common symptom of hammer toe is discomfort while walking. It can also cause discomfort and mild to moderate pain when you try to move or stretch the affected toe. Symptoms of hammer toe include:
- Pain during walking
- Calluses or corns
- Claw like toes
- Inability to stretch and flex your toes
- Toe that bends downward
What to do if you notice these symptoms?
Visit your doctor especially podiatrist as soon as possible if you develop any of these symptoms.
Who can diagnose and treat a Hammer Toe?
A qualified and certified podiatrist can effectively diagnose and treat a hammer toe
Treatment of Hammer toe
A qualified podiatrist can help you in overcoming this problem. Your doctor can advise you OTC pads , cushions , or medicines to treat corns and bunions. However , if the pain still persists , your doctor may decide to surgically removes these bunions and corns. If you are unable to stretch and flex your toes , surgery is the treatment of choice to restore movements. Surgery can effectively remove deformed bone, reposition the toe , and realign your affected toes. Surgery is normally done by a podiatrist on outpatient basis and you can return home on the same day.