The smallest four toes of each foot have three bony segments connected by two joints, just as the fingers do. Hammer toes
is a deformity in which one or more of the small toes develops a bend at the joint
between the first and second segments so that the tip of the toe turns downward, making it looks like a hammer or claw. The second toe is affected most often.
A person may be born with hammer toe or may develop it from wearing short, narrow shoes. Hammer toe can occur in children who outgrow shoes rapidly. Sometimes hammer toe is genetic and is caused by a
nerve disorder in the foot. High heeled shoes are can also cause hammer toe. The reason for this is that the toes are not only bunched up, but the weight of the body is pushing them forward even
Hammer toe is often distinguished by a toe stuck in an upside-down ?V? position, and common symptoms include corns on the top of your toe joint. Pain at the top of a bent toe when you put on your
shoes. Pain when moving a toe joint. Pain on the ball of your foot hammertoe
under the bent toe. Corns developing on the top of the toe joint. It
is advisable to seek medical advice if your feet hurt on a regular basis. It is imperative to act fast and seek the care of a podiatrist or foot surgeon. By acting quickly, you can prevent your
problem from getting worse.
Hammer toes may be easily detected through observation. The malformation of the person's toes begin as mild distortions, yet may worsen over time - especially if the factors causing the hammer toes
are not eased or removed. If the condition is paid attention to early enough, the person's toes may not be permanently damaged and may be treated without having to receive surgical intervention. If
the person's toes remain untreated for too long, however the muscles within the toes might stiffen even more and will require invasive procedures to correct the deformity.
Non Surgical Treatment
Conservative treatment is the first choice, often starting with a change of shoes to ones that have soft, larger toe spaces. Toe exercises may be prescribed to stretch and strengthen the toe muscles.
Over-the-counter straps, cushions or non-medicated corn pads may be recommended to help relieve your symptoms.
In some cases, usually when the hammertoe has become more rigid and painful, or when an open sore has developed, surgery is needed. Often patients with hammertoe have bunions or other foot
deformities corrected at the same time. In selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for your particular case, the foot and ankle surgeon will take into consideration the extent of your
deformity, the number of toes involved, your age, your activity level, and other factors. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed.