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Hammer toes

Causes, symptoms and treatments

Hammer toe is a Z-shaped deformity caused by dorsal subluxation of the metatarsophalangeal joint. It is a common foot condition that affects the joints of the toes, causing them to bend or give them a "hammered" shape. It can cause pain, discomfort and difficulty walking or even standing.

Hammertoe can be caused by a variety of factors, such as ill-fitting shoes, genetics, age and even existing medical conditions. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious problems like corns, calluses and even ulcerations on the toes. Fortunately, there are treatment options to relieve the pain and discomfort caused by hammertoe, such as custom orthotics, toe braces and splints, and even surgery. With proper treatment, hammertoe can be controlled and discomfort reduced. Understanding the causes, symptoms and treatment options for hammertoe can help you make the best decision for your foot health.

To better understand the causes and symptoms: :

Hammertoe is a joint deformity (a misalignment of the joint surfaces) that causes the toes to bend at the middle joint. Due to genetic predisposition, biomechanical disruption and tendon retractions, hammertoe can also be the result of neurological disorders, diabetes and other conditions.

Common risk factors include a high arch, a very narrow foot, a demanding job, a foot anomaly.

Hammertoe is often marked by pain and discomfort in the affected toe. Other common symptoms include redness, swelling, tenderness or warmth in the joint, pain when walking and/or difficulty wearing proper footwear. Hammertoe is most common in the second toe, but it can also affect the first and fourth toes.

To better understand the treatment :

During a consultation, your podiatrist will proceed with a diagnosis of hammertoe deformity. The joints will be examined and x-rays may be suggested in some cases.

Hammertoe is a treatable foot condition, but it can take time to fully heal. Treatments will be tailored to your individual case, and may include wide shoes or toe pads. If the pain is too severe or if it is not resolved with conservative measures, surgical correction of the deformity often relieves the symptoms. If metatarsalgia is associated, orthotics with metatarsal pads may be suggested.