A Hammer toes
is a contracture, or bending, of the toe at the first joint
of the digit, called the proximal interphalangeal joint. This bending causes the toe to appear like an upside-down V when looked Hammer toe
at from the side. Any toe can be involved, but the condition usually affects the second through fifth toes,
known as the lesser digits. Hammer toes are more common in females than males.
Hammertoe and mallet toe have been linked to certain shoes. High-heeled shoes or footwear that's too tight in the toe box can crowd your toes into a space that's not large enough for them to lie
flat. This curled toe position may eventually persist even when you're barefoot. Trauma. An injury in which you stub, jam or break a toe may make it more likely for that digit to develop hammertoe or
mallet toe. Nerve injuries or disorders. Hammertoe and mallet toe are more common in people who have nerve damage in their feet, which often occurs with such medical problems as a stroke or
Hammer toe is often distinguished by a toe stuck in an upside-down ?V? position, and common symptoms include corns on the top of your toe joint. Pain at the top of a bent toe when you put on your
shoes. Pain when moving a toe joint. Pain on the ball of your foot under the bent toe. Corns developing on the top of the toe joint. It is advisable to seek medical advice if your feet hurt on a
regular basis. It is imperative to act fast and seek the care of a podiatrist or foot surgeon. By acting quickly, you can prevent your problem from getting worse.
Most health care professionals can diagnose hammertoe simply by examining your toes and feet. X-rays of the feet are not needed to diagnose hammertoe, but they may be useful to look for signs of some
types of arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis) or other disorders that can cause hammertoe.
Non Surgical Treatment
Treatment options for a hammertoe are based on the severity of the condition. A hammertoe caused by inappropriate footwear can be corrected by wearing properly fitting shoes. If a high arch caused
the condition, wearing toe pads or insoles in your shoes can help. These pads work by shifting your toe?s position, which relieves pain and corrects the appearance of your toe.
If your hammer, claw, or mallet toe gets worse, or if nonsurgical treatment does not help your pain, you may think about surgery. The type of surgery you choose depends on how severe your condition
is and whether the toe joint is fixed (has no movement) or flexible (has some movement). A fixed toe joint often requires surgery to be straightened. A flexible toe joint can sometimes be
straightened without surgery. Surgery choices include Phalangeal head resection (arthroplasty), in which the surgeon removes part of the toe bone. Joint fusion (arthrodesis), in which the surgeon
removes part of the joint, letting the toe bones grow together (fuse). Cutting supporting tissue or moving tendons in the toe joint. How well surgery works depends on what type of surgery you have,
how experienced your surgeon is, and how badly your toes are affected.
Hammertoe can usually be prevented by wearing shoes that fit properly and give the toes plenty of room. Don?t wear shoes with pointed or narrow toes. Don?t wear shoes that are too tight or short.
Don?t wear high-heeled shoes, which can force the toes forward. Choose shoes with wide or boxy toes. Choose shoes that are a half-inch longer than your longest toe. If shoes hurt, don?t wear them.