A hammertoe is described as the abnormal bending at the middle joint of the toe. Over time, the toe becomes more rigid, and corns and bunions may begin to develop. Possible causes of hammertoe include genetic factors, injuries, and ill-fitting shoes. In order to make the discomfort from a hammertoe more manageable, you should wear wider shoes, and make sure the type of shoe is appropriate for the activity you are engaging in. Anti-inflammatory medications are also an option. If the pain becomes too severe, surgery is a possibility. In this surgery, the corn and a portion of the problematic knuckle would be removed. However, a hammertoe can come back after the surgery. In order to avoid this condition from occurring again, do not wear shoes that are pointy or too narrow in the toe area. If you believe you may have a hammertoe, it is suggested that you consult with a podiatrist who can help.
Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Dr. Jeffrey Wachtel from Wachtel Family Foot Care. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.
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.
- Pain in the affected toes
- Development of corns or calluses due to friction
- Contracture of the toes
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
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 Lansdale, PA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.