What Causes Hammertoes?

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The big toe is the only toe that is not susceptible to the condition called hammertoe. The other toes can all succumb to this progressive deformity that causes the toes to bend at the end joints into the shape of a hammer. Hammertoes will only get worse over time without proper treatment.

What is the cause of hammertoes?

A hammertoe deformity occurs due to an imbalance between the muscle and the tendon in the toe. This tendency can be inherited and exacerbated by structural changes that occur over time. Injuring your toe can also cause it to bend in this manner. Always treat hammertoes early while they still remain somewhat flexible since the more rigid they become, the more difficult they are to treat.

Symptoms and accompanying conditions of hammertoes include the following:

1)    Inflammation and redness

2)    Pain from your footwear

3)    Bunions are more likely if you also have hammertoes

4)    Corns and calluses are frequently seen on or near hammertoes

5)    Blisters and cuts caused by rubbing against the inside of your shoe are also common

Treatments for hammertoes include the following:

  • Padding and orthotic shoe inserts to isolate the hammertoe and prevent corns

  • Steroid injections

  • Splinting or strapping to straighten the toe

  • Surgery—When a hammertoe has become too rigid and painful for the more conservative options, surgery may be required to reposition the toe and realign the tendons

If you are suffering with hammertoes, contact your podiatrist for the proper treatment. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX, is a board-certified and highly-experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions, to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.