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All About Hammertoes

Tuesday, 07 June 2022 00:00

A hammertoe is a condition that typically affects the middle toes of your foot. The first joint of the toe raises up, causing a bump. Other iterations of hammertoe are a mallet toe, which affects the second toe joint, and claw toe, which affects both toe joints. Research shows that hammertoes affect more women than men, likely due to the wearing of high-heeled shoes with pointy toes. These shoes push toes forward and force them together, rather than allowing them to spread out comfortably when you stand or walk. When a hammertoe occurs, the top of the toe hits the inside of the shoe box, causing pain and friction. It also aids in the formation of unsightly corns and calluses. Over time the tendons of the affected toe may become permanently tight, for which surgical intervention may be a remedy. The tendons would be cut or realigned, and sometimes a bone would be removed to straighten the toe. If you have a painful hammertoe, it is highly recommended that you consult a podiatrist for appropriate treatment options.  

Hammertoes can be a painful condition to live with. For more information, contact Genine Befumo, DPM of University Foot and Ankle Center, L.L.C. Our doctor will answer any of your foot- and ankle-related questions.

Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that normally hold the toe straight. It can be caused by the type of shoes you wear, your foot structure, trauma, and certain disease processes.

Symptoms

  • Painful and/or difficult toe movement
  • Swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Calluses/Corns
  • Physical deformity

Risk Factors

  • Age – The risk of hammertoe increases with age
  • Sex – Women are more likely to have hammertoe compared to men
  • Toe Length – You are more likely to develop hammertoe if your second toe is longer than your big toe
  • Certain Diseases – Arthritis and diabetes may make you more likely to develop hammertoe

Treatment

If you have hammertoe, you should change into a more comfortable shoe that provides enough room for your toes. Exercises such as picking up marbles may strengthen and stretch your toe muscles. Nevertheless, it is important to seek assistance from a podiatrist in order to determine the severity of your hammertoe and see which treatment option will work best for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Monroe Township, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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