A hammertoe is a deformity that causes a toe to contract and bend or curl upward instead of pointing forward. Although the deformity can affect any toe on the foot, it often affects the second or third toe. A hammertoe may be present at birth, but is more likely to develop over time for a variety of reasons.
Moving the affected toe may cause pain. Corns and calluses (sometimes painful) are often experienced as toes rub against the inside of shoe or other toes.Risk Factors
The risk of hammertoe increases with age. Women experience hammertoe more often than men. People with feet that have longer second toes than big toes face increased risk of developing hammertoe. Some diseases such as arthritis or diabetes may cause increased risk.
A hammertoe is often caused by poorly fitted shoes, ones that are so tight that toes curl to fit into the shoe. Trauma, stubbing or breaking a toe can often cause hammertoe. Flat feet or high arches are other common causes of hammertoes.
More accommodating footwear or shoe inserts may allow the toe to be re-positioned and alleviate the pain. Certain types of over the counter toe splints can be used to realign toes. If these are not successful, surgery may be an option.
Another toe deformity, mallet toe, is related to hammertoe – Hammertoe is a bend in the middle joint of the toe, while mallet toe affects the joint nearest the toenail.
The Concierge Podiatry Advantage
At Concierge Podiatry, with our specialized low cost medical pedicure service, we trim corns and calluses which can temporarily alleviate the problem. Laser treatment can also provide temporary relief. We have developed stretching exercise to reduce the deformity. For continued relief, we offer a wide variety of splinting options. If surgery is the best solution we also provide multiple outpatient surgical options.
At Concierge Podiatry we specialize in treating all podiatric issues. We take the time needed to diagnose and explain any treatment options before beginning any course of treatment.
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