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Causes of Hammertoe

Monday, 27 February 2017 00:00

Hammertoes occur when there is an imbalance in the muscles and ligaments that would normally hold the toe straight.  This results in the toe bending over time and ultimately becoming deformed.  Hammertoe typically affects the second, third, fourth, and fifth toes, not the big toe.  If discovered and managed early, treatments can be non-invasive and the hammertoes may be able to be corrected without surgery.  Although hammertoe may be a congenital disorder in some, usually the cause is either a previous toe injury or wearing ill-fitting shoes.  The toes can become cramped and start to bend gradually if there is not enough space for them.  This is especially the case for people with longer than average toes.  If you notice your toes are bent up in a cramped position, seek medical attention.  Catching this early is crucial.

Hammertoe

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Richard Silverstein from Union Foot Care. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that affects the joints of the second, third, fourth, or fifth toes of your feet. It is a painful foot condition in which these toes curl and arch up, which can often lead to pain when wearing footwear.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the affected toes
  • Development of corns or calluses due to friction
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Contracture of the toes

Causes

Genetics – People who are genetically predisposed to hammertoe are often more susceptible

Arthritis – Because arthritis affects the joints in your toes, further deformities stemming from arthritis can occur

Trauma – Direct trauma to the toes could potentially lead to hammertoe

Ill-fitting shoes – Undue pressure on the front of the toes from ill-fitting shoes can potentially lead to the development of hammertoe

Treatment

Orthotics – Custom made inserts can be used to help relieve pressure placed on the toes and therefore relieve some of the pain associated with it

Medications – Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs could be used to treat the pain and inflammation hammertoes causes. Injections of corticosteroids are also sometimes used

Surgery – In more severe cases where the hammertoes have become more rigid, foot surgery is a potential option

If you have any questions please contact our office located in Havre de Grace, MD. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about What Are Hammertoes?

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