Hammertoe is a foot abnormality in which one of your toes bends down, making it look like a hammer or claw. Usually, hammertoe affects the second toe but it can occur in other small toes as well.
Hammertoe can be uncomfortable, especially when you're wearing shoes. You may also develop corns or calluses on top of the bent joint, and in severe cases, you could even develop open wounds on top of the affected toes.
Hammertoe can develop for several reasons, including:
Women are more likely to develop hammertoe and other foot abnormalities like bunions. Also, you’re more at risk for this and other foot deformities if you have arthritis or diabetes.
If you have a bent toe that doesn't easily straighten, book an appointment at DeLoor Podiatry Associates as soon as you can. Generally, hammertoe is flexible, which means you can still move the toe. At that point, the problem's not yet permanent.
But, if you don't treat flexible hammertoe, the abnormality can become permanent. A permanent hammertoe, or rigid hammertoe, is far more challenging to treat, so that's why it's best to seek treatment early.
The DeLoor Podiatry Associates team can assess your foot and make the diagnosis immediately. They may also use X-rays to determine whether you have permanent changes in the affected joints or within the foot's overall bony framework.
Hammertoe treatment varies with its severity. Generally, treatment depends on whether you have flexible or rigid hammertoe.
For flexible hammertoe, the DeLoor Podiatry Associates team may recommend small cushions to protect your toes along with well-fitted shoes, custom orthotics, and special stretching exercises.
If you have rigid hammertoe, surgery is the only way to correct it. Surgery may involve either joint fusion or fixation using an internal wire or implant.
DeLoor Podiatry Associates can help you live free from hammertoe. Learn more about hammertoe treatment options by calling the office nearest you or clicking the online scheduler.