The term Hammer toe
refers to a common deformity of the foot in which either the second, third, or
fourth toe is bent at the middle joint, so that the tip of the toe is bent downward while the middle of the toe is cocked upward resembling a hammer. The hammer toe deformity is the most common
deformity of the small toes. When a hammer toe first develops, it can be bent back into its normal position. If not treated, a hammer toe may become rigid and require surgical correction in order to
correct the deformity. Symptoms and signs associated with hammer toe include corns or calluses on the affected toe and pain in the affected area. It may be difficult for people suffering from hammer
toe to find comfortable shoes.
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 hammertoes
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 diabetes.
Hammer toes can cause problems with walking and lead to other foot problems, such as blisters, calluses, and sores. Pain is caused by constant friction over the top of the toe?s main joint. It may be
difficult to fit into some shoe gear due to the extra space required for the deformed toe. In many cases there will be pain on the ball of the foot over the metatarsals along with callus formation.
This is due to the toes not functioning properly, failing to properly touch the ground during the gait cycle. The ball of the foot then takes the brunt of the ground forces, which causes chronic
Hammertoes are progressive, they don?t go away by themselves and usually they will get worse over time. However, not all cases are alike, some hammertoes progress more rapidly than others. Once your
foot and ankle surgeon has evaluated your hammertoes, a treatment plan can be developed that is suited to your needs.
Non Surgical Treatment
Non-surgical methods for hammer toes (claw toes) are aimed at decreasing symptoms (i.e., pain and/or calluses) and/or limiting the progression into a larger problem. Simple treatments patients can do
are wear supportive shoes. Use an arch support. Wear shoes with a wide toe box. Modify activities. Spot stretch shoes. Periodic callus care.
Surgically correcting a hammertoe is very technical and difficult, and requires a surgeon with superior capabilities and experience. The operation can be done at our office or the hospital with local
anesthetic. After making a small incision, the deformity is reduced and the tendons are realigned at the joint. You will be able to go home the same day with a special shoe! If you are sick and tired
of not fitting your shoes, you can no longer get relief from pads, orthopedic shoes or pedicures, and have corns that are ugly, sensitive and painful, then you certainly may be a good surgical
candidate. In order to have this surgery, you can not have poor circulation and and must have a clean bill of health.